Weather Experiments for Kids

Instructor: Cara Rogers
Weather science can be a complicated topic to tackle as an instructor; however, hands-on activities and demonstrations can make these concepts much easier and more exciting to explore. Impress your students with these thrilling experiments for kids of all ages.

Fun Weather Experiment Ideas for Kids

Introducing your students to the different types of weather systems with hands-on activities can be a fun way to keep your students interested in the discussion. As you cover new topics in the curriculum, consider some engaging experiments to enhance your students' learning experience. Below are a few examples of exciting activities that you can easily perform in the classroom.

Forming Fog

Depending on the grade-level of the students you are instructing, this experiment may be done in groups or together as a class. You will need:

  • 1 Glass jar
  • 1 Strainer
  • Hot water (to fill the jar)
  • 3-4 Ice cubes

First, fill the jar almost completely with hot water. After at least 60 seconds, pour out almost all of the water, leaving roughly one inch left in the jar. Place the strainer over the top of the jar, and add the ice cubes into the strainer. Tell the students to watch carefully as fog mysteriously emerges.

As the ice cubes and the air meet, the warm and cool temperatures form fog. This experiment is a great activity to perform when learning about condensation, and can accompany the lesson, What is Fog?.

Lightning Bulb

Show your class your mad scientist side by demonstrating how lightning and electricity work. You will need:

  • 1 Fluorescent light bulb
  • 1 Inflated rubber balloon

Turn off the classroom lights, and make the room as dark as possible. Take the balloon and rub it against your hair for several seconds to build up static electricity. Holding the balloon close to the end of the light bulb, the bulb will light up.

Students can get a better understanding of static electricity by explaining that the statically charged balloon illuminates the bulb by the electrical charges. Your students can learn even more about this subject with this Static Electricity lesson.

Water Works

Let your students conduct their own individual experiments to see how the water cycle works on a small scale. You will need:

  • 1 Pixie cup per student
  • 1 Re-sealable plastic bag
  • Water

Put a small amount of water into each pixie cup, and while you are pouring, have your students write their names in marker on a plastic bag. Then, ask your students to carefully insert their pixie cups into their re-sealable bag and place them near the windows around the room. After an hour or so of sunshine, you should be able to see evaporation forming on the inside of the plastic bag. Wait even longer to watch as the moisture turns into droplets.

The heat of the sun causes the water in the cups to rise and evaporate. This lesson is helpful for teaching kids about cloud formation, and can be used alongside the Evaporation Lesson for Kids to help your students better understand evaporation and condensation.

Additional Resources

There are a variety of tools available on that can help inspire your students to get excited about weather science. To get more ideas about the types of experiments you can conduct with kids, take a look at this lesson in weather science experiments. Another great resource is the Physics for Elementary School chapter. This chapter includes several lessons covering topics like the atmosphere, evaporation, tornadoes, rainbows, clouds, snow, and more. Students can test their comprehension of topics with interactive lesson quizzes and comprehensive exams.

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