Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Create a Tornado in a Bottle!

My first grade boys came home the other day SO excited because their teacher had made a tornado in a jar, and they insisted *I* make one too. However, I have never made a tornado in a jar, and I wasn't sure exactly how they wanted me to do so.

I have made a tornado in a bottle before though!

Don't know what I mean? Here's a picture:

You can see the "tornado" in the top bottle., right? Wanna make one?

They are fairly simple. If you want to make one REALLY simple, buy this gadget to connect the bottles.
Don't feel like shelling out the cash? That's okay...I made 8 of these with things I had at home!

I used Aquafina bottles for my tornadoes, but you can use soda bottles as well. I found it was much easier to put holes in the water bottles' caps since they are thinner plastic.

What you need:
2 bottles with screw on caps
12oz COLD water
Lo Temp Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

 food coloring and/or glitter

Step 1:  Heat up the glue gun

Step 2: Rinse Bottles and Caps, Dry Caps

Step 3: Cut a hole about the size of a dime from each cap. This can be tricky, be safe and do not let children do this! I used a steak knife and my hole was pentagon shaped. There should be some room left for the glue to be put on the top of the cap.

Step 4: Apply hot glue to the top of one cap, be sure to completely circle the hole with glue.

Step 5: Press the other cap down (which has its hole too) on top of it (Top to Top) firmly.

Step 6: Fill one bottle about 4/5 full of cold water. Add coloring and glitter if you would like.

Step 7:  Twist bottle cap on the bottle filled with water, then twist the empty bottle on the top cap. Twist until they are secure, but not too hard or else you will twist the glue right off.

Step 8: Now, this is tricky but I will try to explain it. You have to make a seal with hot glue on the caps. You may see some hot glue bubbling out from in between the caps, that is fine. You are going to put a line of hot glue around caps where they meet. Then, quickly, dab your finger in water and flatten the hot glue out so that it seals the caps.
 (This is why glue gun needs to be low temp, and do not try without using water on your finger!)

Caps should look like this:

Now, I would let it sit for a few minutes so the glue cools. Then, try it! I recommend trying over the sink or bathtub the first time in case the seal isn't perfect!

Tip the bottles so that the full bottle is on top, then swirl the top bottle. The water should "bubble" and then create a vortex.....whalah! You have a tornado in a bottle!

Super fun, the kids LOVED the ones I made and kept insisting I make more and more and more of them. They each have at least two now. :)

Have fun!

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