Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys {Day 3}: Make a Tornado in a Jar

Day 3 Tornado in a Jar Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys 

How to Make a Tornado in a Jar…


  • Glass Jar
  • Water (3/4 jar full)
  • 1 tsp of Dish Soap
  • 1 tsp of Vinegar
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Butter Knife

outdoor adventures making a tornado in a jar

Tornadoes in the sky – not so cool.  Tornados in a jar – super fun.  The boys have been fascinated in studying weather, and of course experimenting with it hands on is even more intriguing!

We found a tornado in a jar activity using these simple ingredients, that provided a great hands on simulation of the vortex motion of a tornado.  It’s a great activity to take outside in case of a spill and to observe the current weather conditions.

Combine the ingredients above in a glass jar.  Shake and swirl together in a circular motion and watch the funnel form.  We discovered later that if you use a butter knife to swirl the water, the tornado is more defined and lasts longer.  You can add glitter to help visualize the debris.

how to make a tornado in a jar 

  Helpful Tips/Resources:

* You might need a little force to get the circular motion. 

* More natural dish soaps seems to have better results.


Have you ever experimented with making a tornado in a jar?  How did yours turn out?

6 thoughts on "Simple Outdoor Adventures for Boys {Day 3}: Make a Tornado in a Jar"

  1. Abby says:

    When I was growing up, we used two-liter pop bottles to make tornados like this. (I don’t think my mom trusted us with glass.) Always a fun activity!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      I remember the 2 liter trick too. This one is so simple – and being outside makes it mess free! =) I’m sure a plastic clear jar would work as well…maybe a peanut butter jar?

  2. susan says:

    I had forgotten doing this as a kid. We’re camping this weekend, so I’ll add this to the list. (right after we empty two 2-liter bottles of diet coke with the menthes volcano thing.)

  3. Lisa~ says:

    My boys will love this! My 9 year old loves studying weather. This would be a fun stocking stuffer since I try to put homemade things in their stockings. Great series! Keep ’em coming! Lisa~

  4. This is very cool! Even my 14 and 12 yo sons will enjoy making this! Thank you!

  5. Gershom says:

    The boys loved it !.. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *