It starts to feel like autumn, and a good reason to learn about clouds. Clouds are very interesting, it is fun to look at the clouds and try to see interesting shapes. Scientists gave clouds different names based on their shape and their height in the sky. We focused on 4 major type of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, cumulonimbus, and stratus. I used cotton balls to model the clouds, and my daughter prepared a cool demonstration of cumulonimbus (rain clouds) by gluing a large number of cotton balls to a piece of paper and loading them with silver sprinkles. The cumulonimbus rained sprinkles when she shook the page.
We discussed the water cycle and then made cumulonimbus clouds from shaving cream and food color. The girls added food color to the top of the shaving cream cloud and watched as the colorful raindrops formed under the cloud.
Next we made cloud soap from ivory soap. Unlike other soaps, air is whipped into the Ivory soap mixture before it sets, which enables it to float. Warming Ivory soap in the microwave causes the air within the soap to expand forming a giant soap cumulus cloud.
We used half a soap bar to create an Ivory soap cloud. Each girl got a cloud and made her own cloud soap. First the girls crumbled the soap, and added some warm water and food coloring to create a soap paste. Then they filled silicon flower molds with the soap paste and let it set for 24 hours. Some girls used the extra soap paste to create free-formed soap bars.