Rain in a bowl: Teaching my children about precipitation


Gloria Delgado

Spraying the shaving cream into the water bowl.

Gloria Delgado, Reporter

I am 29 years old and yesterday I taught myself, my husband, and my two children the colors that make up the rainbow and the precipitation process.

As we approach the third month of sheltering in place, I am sure everyone’s kids are as eager as mine to get out of the house and enjoy some Vitamin C.

I am lucky that my children, Sophie, 5, and Eddie, 3, inherited my love for art and crafts so being stuck at home has actually been a joyful time.

In my home, our favorite season is spring because both of my children’s birthdays fall in spring. So in honor of “April showers,” I decided to make an art project about the process of the water cycle, with an emphasis on how rain falls from the clouds.

My kids are toddlers, therefore, I incorporated a lesson about the rainbow colors because if there is one thing toddlers love it is colors… and glitter!

I got the idea from “Rainbow Rain Experiment” on Pinterest.

We started off our craft by filling up a transparent bowl halfway with water and then we sprayed shaving cream on the top of it. The water was the surface and the shaving cream clouds.

Word of advice: use scented shaving cream. Your nose will thank you later when you are wiping shaving cream off the table and your kids’ faces.

Beforehand we had mixed a few drops of food coloring and water inside of small bottles, we had 7 different colors. One for each color of the rainbow.

My assistants pouring in the colorful rain. (Gloria Delgado)

I then let my kids pour those colored waters onto the shaving cream and then watched as the colored water exited the shaving cream and incorporated itself into the rest of the water.

I then explained what we were seeing was called precipitation. The process of rain (water) leaving a cloud (shaving cream).

The children enjoyed watching the shaving cream change colors, it resembled a rainbow.

As much as we all enjoyed this craft, I made several mistakes. The first mistake I made was letting my assistant also known as my husband add way too much shaving cream into the bowl.

It took a very long time for the colored water to get through the shaving cream.

Another mistake was letting my kids go to town when pouring the colored waters in.

Once the purple water entered the bowl you could no longer see any of the other colors.

The biggest mistake was not putting aprons on the kids while working with food coloring.

The next day when we made rain in a glass again, I made sure to fix our mistakes.

I limited how much shaving cream my husband could spray into the bowl.

I let the kids each choose just one color, Sophie chose red and Ed green.

Each one was instructed to add their colored water to a specific side of the bowl.

Limiting how many colors took this from being a fun art project to an educational art project.

With fewer colors, they were able to focus on the bigger lesson, then recreating the process of precipitation.

Overall my entire family enjoyed this project. Not only did we create science together but we also learned something new.

The adults learned what colors make up the rainbow, embarrassing I know. Good thing we don’t homeschool our kids.

The kids learned about making colors, colors that make up the rainbow, and what is precipitation.
And when they were done learning they got to play with shaving cream that was rainbow-colored as well as summer. (For this part, I repeat put aprons on your children so they don’t stain their clothes.)

Last word of advice, if you have little ones do not leave them unattended with the shaving cream, my 2-year-old kept staring at it like if it was cake frosting.

So if you are looking for an educational and fun activity to do with your kids, or looking for a distraction from the current situation we are all in, please try making rain a bowl.