Preschool STEAM (for children ages 2-6) is all about having fun with science, technology, math and art!  There is no right or wrong way for children to experiment – the fun and learning comes from the doing!  Early childhood research shows us that little hands and minds learn best when at play.

For our February 2019 STEAM adventure, we focused on the science of rain clouds.

Materials Needed:

Shaving cream

Liquid water colors or food coloring

Mason jar

Plastic bowl or cup

1 cup of water

Plastic pipettes (or plastic spoons)

The Project


  • First mix a few drops of food coloring (or liquid watercolor) into some water and set it aside. This is your “rain”.
  • Fill a glass jar about 3/4 of the way full with cool water.
  • Make a fluffy “cloud” on top of the water using shaving cream.
    • Now you are ready to make rain! 
  • Use the pipette (or a spoon) to suck up some of the colored water and then gently squirt it on top of the shaving cream cloud.
  • As more and more water is squirted on the shaving cream, the cloud becomes heavier and heavier.
  • Within a few minutes, the first drops of colored rain made their way through the cloud and dropped into the water underneath.
  • You can continue to saturate the shaving cream clouds with water until they started to deflate and melt down the side of the jar.


  • Clouds are formed when water vapor rises into the air and condenses onto tiny particles of dust. When billions of these droplets come together, a visible cloud forms

  • Over time, the droplets and crystals that make up a cloud can attract more water to themselves.

  • When water droplets grow heavy enough, gravity pulls them down as raindrops.

    • Making a rain cloud in a jar is obviously a simplistic model of how it actually rains, but it gives young children a hands-on visual that is extremely valuable to their learning. Plus, it’s fun!


Having fun Making Rain Clouds


Join us for our next Preschool STEAM adventure on Monday, March  25 from 10:30-11:30 am.  The location is  Pasadena Central Library ~ Studio on 4th or Children’s Room Patio.  Look out for the signs to tell you where!