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Tornado in a Jar
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Tornado in a Jar

Tornadoes can cause a lot of destruction, but are an interesting force of nature. A tornado is a violent rotating column of air that forms under the right weather conditions. When a tornado forms it creats a vortex which is a spinning, often turbulent flow of air.

Did you know that their is a way to see a tornado without the destruction? We can create our own vortex by swirling the contents of the jar (soap and water plus a little vinegar) to observe the motion of a tornado. This fun activity is a great way to open up a discussion about how tornadoes form and how to stay safe during a tornado. For more information, click here!


  • glass or plastic jar with a lid
  • liquid soap
  • vinegar
  • water


1. Fill a jar almost to the rim with cold water

Tornado 4 water

2. Add a few squire of clear liquid soap to the jar of water. The more the merrier.

Tornado 3 soap

3. Add a tad of vinegar to the jar as well. We added about a capful.


4. Put the lid back on the jar tightly and then first shake then swirl the jar to form a tornado!