Tornado in a Jar


A jar of water with a little vinegar and liquid soap added can be transformed into a Tornado-science lesson with this cool activity!  A tornado is a violent rotating column of air that forms under the right weather conditions. When a tornado forms it creates a vortex which is a spinning, often turbulent flow of air.  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. Explore the science behind tornadoes with this easy activity and open up a discussion with your kids.


  • 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!