Monday, May 9, 2011

Science Activity: Making Rain

The Kids' Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences (Williamson Kids Can! Series)

I ordered a science/nature book a few weeks ago from and it looks pretty neat! It's called The Kids' Nature Book.  It's designed for kids older than Trevor, but it gives lots of great simple ideas (and some more in depth ideas for a little bit older kids).  It has an activity of some sort for each day of the year, so that the activities go along with the seasons.  Now that the weather is so nice, I definitely want to make sure that we are getting outside and doing some learning!  I'm going to set a goal for myself of trying to do one science activity a week (I hope I'm shooting low here and that we actually do much more, but it's summer, so I'm going to give myself a break =)

This week's theme in preschool is rain, so I decided we would try to create rain on top of the stove (ok, so this one wasn't an outside activity, oh well).

What You Need:
  • Pan
  • Water
  • Cookie sheet cooled in the freezer or a pie tin filled with ice cubes

How It Works:
  • Fill your pan with water and bring it to a boil on top of the stove
  • Bring out your cookie sheet or pie tin
  • Hold the sheet/tin over the boiling water (not too close!)
  • You will notice condensation forming on the bottom of the sheet/tin and after a few minutes, drops of water should form and fall down

Why It Works:

As water heats, it turns into vapor and rises. This is true both on the earth and in our experiment.  Once the vapor rises so high, it cools back down and turns back into liquid.  In our experiment, we expedited this process by using a freezing sheet/tin.  The liquid is heavier than the gas, so it drops back down to earth (or the pan!) in the form of rain.

Trevor enjoyed this activity, but of course it's a little deep for him.  Though he did run to daddy after we did it and tried to explain to him what he learned..."Daddy!  And the water goes up, and it's cold, and the water comes down!"  Admittedly, the experiment didn't work as perfectly as it should have.  Trevor got impatient waiting for the drops to form (so I kept tipping the sheet to make the drops run off the end =) and I was just trying my hardest to not let anyone get burnt because Mackenzie was pulling at my pant legs and ended up in my arms half way through.  That's real life though!  Plans on paper look good, but real life, even with all it's hiccups, is better =)

 Would you like to have an activity sheet and printable instructions for this and 9 other science activities for preschoolers?

Get my Preschool Science (& Nature) printable pack for free!

 Looking for more preschool information?  Click on the picture below to find a list of all the preschool posts here at Living and Learning at Home, plus some of my favorite preschool resources!

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  1. I just typed up a post very similar to this for next week! Ours used a jar, but the same boys loved it! Yours seems like it might be more immediate gratification, though!

  2. There is a great book called...Science in Seconds that you might like. I think it is by Jean Potter


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