Fun with Clouds

Cloud Best Nanny NewsletterMaking a Condensation Chamber

Children love to gaze at the changing shapes of clouds and watch them go by overhead. But, do the youngsters you care for know how clouds are formed? Teach them with these two super easy activities:

You Will Need:

Two clear plastic cups

What to Do:

1. Have them stand close to a mirror, take a deep breath, and exhale. A circle of steam will appear on the mirror. Explain that their breath contains water vapor, and when it hits the cold mirror, tiny droplets of water form — causing condensation. Clouds contain billions of droplets that are formed when water vapor rises into the atmosphere and condenses.

2. Make a “condensation chamber.” Have the child put 2 teaspoons of water in a small plastic cup and place a second plastic cup upside down, on top of the cup with water. Tape the two cups together and stick in a sunny window. What do the kids see in one to three hours (took ours just 30 minutes)? They might notice more condensation in the daytime or more drops on the side closest to the window. The reason is warm air holds more water vapor than cool air.


Resources for Educators, 2011

Photo by Stephanie Felzenberg

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