Make Puffy Paint; Use to Paint & Explore Cloud Shapes
In this science activity, kids will use a glue and shaving cream solution to paint fluffy clouds!
There are 10 basic types of clouds. Print these pictures to use as a guide: Cloud Pictures
All clouds are made up of tiny water droplets and ice crystals suspended in the air. In order for a cloud to form, 3 things are needed: moisture in the air (water vapor), cooling air, and particles like dust to provide a surface for the water vapor to gather into water droplets. The sun heats the earth, the earth heats the air above it, the warm air starts to rise, the warm air starts to cool down and can’t hold as much water vapor, and water vapor condenses around dust particles in the air back into a liquid, when, finally, tiny water droplets form a cloud. Fog (clouds close to the ground) happens when warm, moist air from the south comes in and gets cooled down by the cold ground. The moisture in the warm air condenses into fog.
Clouds are white because they reflect all the colors of light from the sun the exact same amount. They turn gray if the clouds get thick enough that the sunlight cannot get through them.
The clouds that you see in the sky are excellent indicators of what weather you should expect. For example, the most obvious indicator of a coming thunderstorm is the appearance of cumulonimbus clouds. Cirrus clouds usually indicate fair weather, but they can also signal that a change of weather is coming within 24 hours. Another type of cloud, called altostratus, often comes ahead of a storm that will produce long periods of rain or snow. Finally, stratus clouds often bring drizzly conditions.
- Washable School Glue - 1/2 cup per student
- Disposable cup or beaker - 1 per student
- Shaving cream - enough to fill a small cup
- Disposable spoon - 1 per student
- Dark blue construction paper - 1 per student
- Paintbrush - 1 per student
Pour 1/2 cup of washable school glue into the disposable cup or beaker.
Add shaving cream until the cup is almost full.
Stir the glue and shaving cream mixture until well mixed.
Explore the different types of clouds online, or print pictures, or go outside and look! Now use the puffy paint to paint a few different cloud types onto the dark blue construction paper. Depending on how thickly this goes on, it should dry within 20-30 minutes.
Extension: Discuss which cloud types are in the picture and what weather they might indicate.