Monday, April 21, 2014

Quick Pick & Project of the Week: "Tornadoes" Weather Jar

Last week we made our monthly trip to our local library and Big Brother picked out a copy of Gail Gibbon's book Tornadoes. We're big fans of Gail Gibbons as she presents nonfiction writing in a way that is approachable to all different age levels. We had never read this one before and as we read it I even learned some new things too!

I realized it would be a great fit for our next Quick Pick of the Week book. 
I had seen recipes online before for "calming jars" and figured with a few quick tweaks we could turn them into tornado jars. 

Our materials included a large baby food jar, glitter glue, food coloring, vegetable oil (not pictured), water, and duct tape. 

To begin with squeeze in the glitter glue, we squeezed in about half of our container. 

Then add a few drops of food coloring, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and enough water to almost fill the jar (leave about an inch from the top.) Things got a little messy as I let Big Brother pour by himself so I wasn't able to take any pictures. 

Twist on the lid and use the duct tape to seal the edges. Finally, shake it all up! To make the tornado we tried shaking it in a circle. 

Unfortunately we couldn't see the "tornado" quite as I had hoped but we did still really enjoy the jar. The swirling liquid reminded Big Brother of the tornadoes in the book. He also thought it kind of looked like a blizzard or a rain storm (his words.) This was especially true when it would start to settle out and separate into different layers (the glitter on the bottom, the water in the middle, and the oil on top) and there was a lot of movement.  

We decided we'd call it a "weather jar" instead because we could see so many different kinds of weather. 

After we created our weather jar, I found this awesome link to a homemade tornado experiment using seltzer bottles (which we always have too many of in the recycling bin) and a washer from Little Bins for Little Hands. Definitely going to try this one next time!

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