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Make Your Own Cloud

By Maxine Anderson

Look outside, it's spring! Birds are building nests. Flowers are blooming. Trees have new, green leaves. And everywhere, animals have new babies to raise. Spring is a time of new life. It is a time when the world outside wakes up from winter.

In Explore Spring! 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring, author Maxine Anderson offers projects, activities and experiments for learning all about the natural wonders that occur during the spring season including the greening of the leaves, animal migration and new births and spring weather. The following activity is designed to teach children more about how clouds are formed because, after all, spring is a great time for cloud watching.


Clouds are collections of tiny water droplets. Clouds are formed when the warm air that is being heated by the strong spring sun rays meets the cold, damp air coming up off of the cold ground. Little water drops form into clouds. The water drops are so small and light that they can float in the air. When enough water droplets have gathered together, they get too heavy to float and fall down as rain. There are lots of clouds in spring because the sun's rays are strong and the ground is still quite chilly.

Make Your Own Cloud


  • Glass Jar
  • Piece of black paper cut to fit halfway up around the jar
  • Tape
  • Hot tap water
  • Match
  • Ice cubes in a plastic bag

How do clouds form when warm air and cold air meet? Here is a way you can see up close! In this project you will be using both hot water and a match, so you'll need a grownup's help.

  1. Tape a piece of black paper around the bottom half of the jar. Fill the jar to the top with hot water. Leave it for about a minute. Then pour out all but an inch of the water.

  2. Have an adult light the match and hold it over the jar opening for a few seconds. Drop the match in the water. Then quickly put the plastic bag of ice cubes over the top of the jar.

  3. What happened? The warm water and the match heated the air inside the jar. The warm, wet air rose up to the top of the jar and ran into the cold air just below the ice cubes. When the warm, we air met the cold wet air, they created a cloud of water droplets.

Making Clouds

Things to notice:

  • What happened to the air in the jar?
  • What did the ice cubes do?
  • What else did you notice?

Spring For more fun activities to help you learn about spring, look for Explore Spring! 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring, by Maxine Anderson, illustrated by Alexis Frederick-Frost, published by Nomad Press.

This article was reprinted with permission from Nomad Press. All text and illustrations are Copyright © 2007 by Nomad Press.


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