Have you ever wondered what creates thunderstorms and tornadoes? Well it all goes back to density. In this why does warm air rise and cold air sink demonstration, kids will be able to visualy see the concept of why does warm air rise with a science activity for kindergarten, pre-k, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders. WIth the density experiment for kids knowldege, you can more easily explain how the updraft and downdraft winds created by cloud formations can create tornados!
Why Does Warm Air Rise and Cold Air Sink
I love using easy science expeirments for kids to explain abstract principles. And nothing is more complex than understanding why strong winds, thunderstorms, and tornados form. And kids want to know because they are a wee bit scarry! WEll, in this why does hot air rise and cold air sink activity chidlren will see first hand. WHile we cannot dye air to make our observations, we can dy different temperatures of water and see what happens. This is such a fun weather activity for kids and EASY science activiteis for kindergarten! Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love this weather experiment for preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 4 students!
Why does hot air rise and cold air sink
This is a super simple science experiment! All you need are a couple common household items you can find in your kitchen:
- ice cube tray
- bue and red food coloring
- 2 cups or medim size container
- 1 large container
Why Does Warm Air Rise
Start by adding blue food coloring to water, mixing, and pouring the blue colored water into an ice cube tray. Allow the water to freeze for at least 3 hours to make colored ice cubes. Take out the blue ice cubes and place them in a a medium size container or cup.
Pour HOT water (you can heat the water on a stovetop or microwave) into a cup or medium size container with red food coloring and mix.
Density Experiment for Kids
Fill the large container with room temperature water. Pour the blue ice cubes into one end of the tank and immediately pour the red warm water into the other end of the tank. What happens?
Initially the colors are side by side as the blue cold water moves towards the bottom because cold water is more dense than hot water.
Science Activities for Kindergarten
Watch the blue water quickly sinking to the bottom of the container while the red floats on top! It stays seperate for about 10 minutes.
Kindergarten science experiments
This easy science experiment for kindergarten demonstrates how the behavior of warm and cold air (cold sinking and warm rising) causes thunderstorms to form.
Science projects for kindergarten
WHY do the colors stay seperated? The reason is hot and cold water have a different density. The cold water was more dense than the warm water so it sank to the bottom.
Eventually both blue and red water will become room tempearture. As they get closer and closer to the same temparture the water will mix and the food coloring to blend creating a unifrom purple color
Easy science experiments for kindergarten
Other than a really cool example of density for kids, this helps us understand what happens wtih warm and cold air as well. While we cannot dye air and observe what it does, the same property is true for warm and cold air as it is for water. You see for thunderstorms to happen, you need moist, warm air, typically from the ocean. Instability forms when warm, moist air is near the ground and cold, dry air is up higher in the atmosphere – they are in the opposite spot of where their density wants them to be. Unlike water that will just all become the same temperature and make a pretty purple, the warm air rises and until it reaches a similar temperature as the air around it and it will condense into a cloud. When it forms a cloud, it releases heat whic causes it to rise more and form taller and taller clouds. All of this causes strong upward winds (scientists call it an updraft) and downward winds (downdraft). This is the stage at which tornadoes can form.
Weather for Kindergarten
Whether you use this weather lesson plans kindergarten or as a fun weather theme for elementary age students, you will want to check out these other fun, and FREE, resources for teaching kids about weather:
- Free Printable Seasons Worksheets w/ Season Wheel Printable
- Cloud for Kids
- Hibernation preschool activities learning about weather
- Severe Storms for Kids – includes tornado in a bottle, what to do in an emergency, and storm worksheets for kids
- How to Make a Weather Vane – easy weather science project for elementary age students
- Lots of fun ideas for a weather theme this week
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- Lots of weather printables to help kids learn about weather terms whil epracticing math and literacy skills
- HUGE Free Printable Weather Unit for lower elementary age children – activities, weather worksheets, and more
- Simply Rainbow Density Experiment for springtime
Looking for more outdoor activities for kids and things to do in the summer? Your toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, and elementary age kids will love these fun ideas to keep them busy all summer long:
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