Classroom 9: How to make a tornado in a jar

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s severe weather season, which means tornadoes!

In this edition of Classroom 9, you’ll have be able to create your own tornado in a jar.

To make a tornado in a jar all you’ll need is:

  • A clear jar with a lid (a mason jar, mayonnaise jar, or canning jar are all great options).
  • Clear liquid soap.
  • Vinegar.
  • Water.
  • Teaspoon.

Optional items include:

  • Food coloring of your choice (if it has no dropper you might want a toothpick or a straw to help you get a small amount).
  • Glitter.

First, you’ll need to fill your jar about 2/3 full of water.

Then you will need to measure out one teaspoon of vinegar to add to your jar of water. You may want a parent or guardian to help you with this to prevent spills. You do not have to rinse the teaspoon before the next step.

Next, you will measure out one teaspoon of the clear liquid soap to add to the vinegar and water mixture. Again, you may want a parent or guardian to help with this step to prevent spills.

If you choose to add some food coloring and/ or glitter this is where you will add those. You only need a drop or two of food coloring and about a pinch or two of glitter. The food coloring will help you see the tornado, and the glitter will act as debris flying around.

Once you have added all your ingredients (including the optional ones if you choose to do so), tightly screw the lid on the jar and shake all the ingredients to mix them thoroughly.

Once the mixture has calmed down from being shaken, swirl the jar in a circular motion and watch a tornado form before your eyes!

The circular motion helps create a vortex inside the bottle which ultimately represents what a tornado looks like.

You can swirl up a tornado anytime you’d like with your tornado in a jar, you just have to wait until everything settles between each swirl.

Be sure to check out all the Classroom 9 activities on

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