Tornado in a Jar

Activity for ages 3 and up.

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. Easy and exciting. Gotta’ love that kind of kids’ science!!

Make a Tornado in a Jar

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

  • 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. {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 Kids’ Science

Grab our Super Cool Science Kit including 22 jaw dropping science experiments and awesome follow up observation sheets for young scientists.

Super Cool Science Kit - 2000

Hi, I’m Malia.

I’m a National Board Certified Teacher and love showing Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers easy-to-follow systems for getting EVERY student bigger results.