Today we talked about how tornadoes form and made our own tiny tornadoes inside a clear water bottle. I don’t know why, but our kids thought this was really cool and did it on their own for quite a while.
Fill a clear jar or water bottle ½ to ¾ full with plain water. Then swirl the jar as we’ve done in today’s picture. The water inside up against the glass is pulled along due to its friction again the glass walls. The fluid toward the inside takes longer to get moving. But eventually both the glass jar and the fluid are spinning as you rotate the bottle. When you stop rotating the jar, the fluid inside keeps spinning. A mini twister can be seen for just a few seconds when the outer fluid slows down and the inner fluids continue to spin rapidly.
For more information on how tornadoes form, go to weatherwizkids.com for a discussion that older kids will enjoy.
Books: Tornadoes! By Gail Gibbons (Holiday House 2010) is a good non-fiction book to try. Gail Gibbons “has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children’s writer-illustrator,” according to The Washington Post. Winner of the 2010 Regina Medal, this book has clear and detailed text about how tornadoes form. Sure you’ve seen the movie, but have you read the Wizard of Oz? Try either this illustrated and adapted version ofThe Wizard of Oz by Donna Jo Fuller; or the 100th anniversary edition of the original story by L. Frank Baum (HarperCollins 2000).