Explore the science behind tornadoes with this easy activity.
Ask your child if they know what a tornado is. If they need help, explain that a tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that forms under the right weather conditions. When a tornado forms, it creates a vortex which is a spinning, often turbulent flow of air. We can create our own vortex by swirling the contents of the jar to observe the motion of a tornado.
- Glass or plastic jar with a lid
- Liquid soap
- Have your child fill a jar almost to the rim with cold water.
- Add a few squirts of clear liquid soap to the jar of water.
- Put about a capful of vinegar in the jar as well.
- Make sure your child puts the lid back on the jar tightly. They can shake then swirl the jar to form a tornado!
Caroline Gravino has four children and is also a crafter, video producer and content designer.
This activity comes to you from the creators of Nature Cat.
Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.