Cloud in a Bag Science Observation
|On this super sunny morning, we already have cloud formation!|
This activity is not one of those I classify under the "experiment" title specifically since although it may work very quickly (as it did on our sunny but cold window this morning) it is best observed over the course of several days. It is an easy one to do at home and equally easy to do with a group and send home. With very young scientists (like my own), most of the set up and prep might be done by an adult. Older junior scientists might take a more hands-on approach.
You will need:
- a quart size ziplock bag
- permanent markers (optional)
- blue food color or liquid water color (optional)
- a window with sun exposure!
To set up your Cloud in a Bag: If you'd like to draw clouds, the sun and a body of water on your bag prior to adding your water source, you can use permanent markers to begin. Fill the bottom of the bag (about 1/4 of the way full so it won't be too heavy to hang) with water. Even little hands can help with this step! You can add blue food dye or liquid water color to make it easy to see. Tightly seal the bag. You may even want to tape over the top. Affix to a sunny window with tape and observe over the course of a few days, making sure to check it at different times of day or on days with different temperature and weather conditions.
What's Happening Here? At the beginning of the observation, all of the water is all at the bottom of the bag. Throughout the day, the heat of the sun warms up the water and creates condensation--just like a cloud! When the cloud gets too full to hold any more water, precipitation occurs, like rain, and the droplets of water return to the source of water at the bottom of the bag (as it does to our lakes, rivers, seas and oceans). This is the water cycle in action!
Noah's Ark Sink or Float?
|I prepared our chart ahead of time and introduced the test subjects to my junior scientists!|
|The experiment is complete when your junior scientist is soaking wet and eats one of the test subjects!|
This is one of those science experiments you can repeat again and again and still enjoy. As children advance in their understanding of the concepts, you can continue to build upon the activity in the ways suggested above. If indoor waterplay is not your cup of tea, you can definitely do this one right in the bathtub (or in warmer weather, outdoors). Happy playing!