Tornado in a Jar

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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]When it comes to kids’ science, it doesn’t get much simpler than making a tornado in a jar. This five minute activity uses just two common household ingredients and has a big wow factor. It’s easy AND exciting. Gotta’ love that kind of kids’ science!

Follow the simple step-by-step below and then grab 30 more easy-to-follow science experiments kids will beg to repeat (plus a no prep science journal to keep track of their results!) in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Make a Tornado in a Jar

To whip up our mini tornado,  we grabbed a clean mason jar and our supplies:

  • 3 cups of tap water
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Glitter or other small objects {optional}

We filled the mason jar with water – making sure to leave about an inch of space at the top.

Then we poured in the dish soap and vinegar and closed the lid.

NOTE: I gave the cap a double check just to make sure that our tornado wouldn’t get free and make a big mess.

Holding one hand on top and one below, we swirled the jar for about 5 seconds and then set it down on the table to watch the tornado do its thing. So simple and easy.

To add some extra “wow,” try adding glitter or mini Legos to the jar!

The Science Behind It

When you spin the water in the jar, it creates a vortex in the center.

As the water spins, centripetal force causes the water to spin around that vortex making a mini tornado. Hurricanes have a vortex, too!

More Playful Kids’ Science

Grab 30 easy-to-follow science experiments kids will beg to repeat (plus a no prep science journal to keep track of their results!) in our shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers!

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37 Comments

  1. My kiddos and I did this activity this aft. We’ve been studying weather all week. It was such a hit! (And it was fairly easy for me to set up – bonus)! Thanks for sharing this fun idea.

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