I wasn’t sure how these shaving cream rain clouds were going to turn out, but they were beautiful! I love any experiment that’s easy enough for my kids to do themselves. And I also love when I get to use a rainbow assortment of colours to create something beautiful. So this was a winner! This activity was easy to put together and allowed us to learn a little bit about weather. Although, my girls were definitely more interested in the hands on part, not so much the learning. But what can you do?
- A couple of clear glasses, vases, or bowls (it’s fun to switch up the shapes and sizes!)
- Food colouring
- Shaving cream
- Small bowls or containers that hold 1 to 2 ounces
- An eye dropper, syringe or 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon
We’re definitely getting some good use out of the shaving cream we bought from the dollar store. I originally bought four small cans, and so far we’ve used them to make puffy paint, shaving cream play dough, and now this experiment. And two of the bottles are still fairly full. I guess a little goes a long way with shaving cream.
Start by filling the small containers with water. The less water you use (so the more concentrated the food colouring), the faster your “rain” will drop. But on the other hand, the more water you use, the more rain you’ll be able to make. So keep that in mind as you fill them up.
Add different colours of food colouring to each of the small containers. My containers held about 1 ounce of water and I added about 10 drops of food colouring. (Except I only added 5 drops of purple, because it gets dark really fast).
Fill a clear glass with water about 2/3 full.
Top it with a generous amount of shaving cream.
Use the eye dropper (or syringe, or 1/4 tsp measuring spoon) to drop the different colours of water onto the shaving cream cloud. The closer you squirt to the edges, the faster it will go through the shaving cream and come down as rain.
You can tell your kids that the water is like the air, and the shaving cream is like the clouds. And as the clouds get saturated with water, they produce rain.
Or if your kids are young with mine, you can just say “Oooo… look at all the pretty colours!” I’m not sure my 3 year old and 5 year old really cared that we were trying to represent clouds and rain here.
They just thought it was lots of fun to play with the different colours and to mix everything together!
My 5 year old enjoyed adding all of the colours to her glass. I told them hers was more like a storm cloud, and they seemed happy enough with that.
My 3 year old can’t quite get the hang of the eye dropper yet, so she just used a small measuring spoon to slowly drop the colours into the glass.
It’s going to take a few days for all that food colouring to come off of our countertops. It’s a good thing we plan to replace them at some point!
It was pretty fun to watch the ominous dark rain clouds start to let go of little blue water droplets!
And then we did it all again with a small, square vase. This one was definitely my favourite size and shape to use. There was lots of room to add all of the colours, and lots of volume so we could actually add tons of the food colouring to it without it turning into a black mess.
When we were finished, my girls enjoyed mixing all of the colours together and then stirring it all up (in the sink) into a colourful mess. I find the most successful activities with my kids are the ones where they are allowed to make the biggest messes! They didn’t have much patience for watching the rain drop down, but they sure loved mixing all of the colours and getting their hands dirty!
This shaving cream rain clouds experiment is a fun and relatively easy activity to do with kids. You can turn it into a learning session about weather and discuss clouds, rain and storms. Or if they aren’t in a learning mood, you can simply enjoy the colours and experience the different textures and colours you’ll get to make. Either way, it’s fun to do and beautiful to watch!
If you’re looking for more fun weather science experiments, check out our tutorial for making a snowstorm in a jar. This was so pretty and really cool to watch!!