How to Make a Snowstorm in a Jar

Creating a snowstorm in a jar is a fascinating and simple experiment that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. This experiment offers a mesmerizing glimpse into basic scientific principles in a way that is both engaging and visually stunning.

How to Make a Snowstorm in a Jar

Whether you’re a teacher looking to bring some excitement into your classroom, a parent seeking a fun and educational activity to do at home, or simply a science enthusiast curious to explore the wonders of chemistry, making a snowstorm in a jar is an excellent choice.

With just a few common household items, you can create a dazzling winter wonderland inside a jar. In this article on how to make a snowstorm in a jar, we will discuss the materials needed, the steps involved, and some additional tips to make your snowstorm even more magical.

The Educational Value of Making a Snowstorm in a Jar

At its core, making a snowstorm in a jar is all about understanding the concept of density. Density refers to the amount of matter packed into an object or substance per unit volume. Different liquids and objects have different densities, which affects how they interact with each other when mixed.

In this experiment, we will be using water, oil, and food coloring to create our snowstorm. Water has a higher density than oil, so it will sink to the bottom when mixed together. The food coloring is denser than both water and oil, so it will sink through the water layer and settle at the bottom of the jar.

This creates a beautiful effect that mimics falling snowflakes in a winter storm. By observing and understanding the density differences between these substances, we can create our own miniature snowstorm in a jar.

Materials Needed

To make a snowstorm in a jar, you will need the following materials:

A Clear Glass Jar or Bottle With a Lid (a Mason Jar Works Well)

The jar should be transparent to allow for better visibility of the snowstorm. A mason jar or an old glass bottle works best as they have a wider opening and are more stable when shaking.


You will need around ¾ cup of water for each snowstorm in a jar.


Any type of oil can be used, but we recommend using vegetable oil as it has a neutral scent and is less likely to cause any allergic reactions.

Food Coloring

Choose a color or combination of colors that you would like your snowstorm to have. We recommend using blue, white, or a mix of both for a classic winter effect.

Glitter (Optional)

For an extra touch of sparkle, add some glitter to your snowstorm. This will create a beautiful swirling effect as the glitter falls through the water and oil layers.

10 Simple Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Make a Snowstorm in a Jar

Follow these simple steps to make your own snowstorm in a jar:

Step 1: Fill the Jar with Water

Fill Up Around 1/3 of the Jar With Water

Fill up around 1/3 of the jar with water. You can use a funnel to make this process easier and prevent any spills. You can also add a few drops of blue food coloring to the water to give it a more wintery look. It’s important not to add too much food coloring as it can make the water too dense and prevent the snow effect from happening.

The water should be clear with just a hint of color. If you’re using a larger jar, you can add more water to create a deeper snow base. You can also experiment with using different colors for a more vibrant snowstorm.

Step 2: Add Oil

Slowly pour oil on top of the water until it fills up another 1/3 of the jar. You can use any type of oil, but we recommend using vegetable oil as it’s cheaper and easier to find. Make sure not to overfill the jar and leave some space at the top for shaking.

But don’t worry if you accidentally add too much oil; you can always adjust the water level later. It’s also important to avoid any air bubbles in the oil as they can disrupt the snow effect. The oil should form a distinct layer on top of the water.

Step 3: Add Food Coloring

Add a few drops of food coloring on top of the oil layer. Thoroughly mix the food coloring with the oil by gently shaking or swirling the jar. The color will start to sink through the oil layer and mix with the water, creating a beautiful effect that resembles falling snowflakes.

It’s important to use just a few drops of food coloring as too much can make the water layer too dense and prevent the snow effect from happening. You can also experiment with different colors or even create patterns by adding drops in specific places.

Step 4: Add Glitter (Optional)

Add Some Glitter on Top of the Oil Layer

For an extra touch of sparkle, add some glitter on top of the oil layer. You can use any color of glitter, but we recommend using white or silver for a more realistic snow effect. The glitter will slowly sink through the oil layer and add to the mesmerizing swirling motion of the snowstorm.

It’s important not to add too much glitter as it can disrupt the density balance and prevent the snow effect from happening. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with different amounts for a unique snowstorm. If you don’t have any glitter available, you can also use small pieces of paper or confetti for a similar effect.

Step 5: Secure the Lid

Place the lid on top of the jar and make sure it’s tightly secured. This will prevent any spills during shaking and ensure that your snowstorm stays contained. It’s also important to use a lid with a good seal to prevent air from entering the jar and disrupting the snow effect. You can also use a piece of tape to secure the lid in place if it feels loose.

But if you don’t have a lid available, you can still make a snowstorm in an open jar, it just might be a bit messier. It’s also important to supervise children during this step for safety. There’s also the option of using a plastic jar with a screw-on lid for younger children.

Step 6: Shake, Shake, Shake!

Now comes the fun part – shaking! Gently shake or swirl the jar to create a beautiful snowstorm. You will see the food coloring and glitter swirling through the layers, resembling falling snowflakes in a winter storm. If you want to change things up, you can also tilt or rotate the jar for different effects.

Just be careful not to shake too vigorously as it can create air bubbles and disrupt the snow effect. It’s also important to supervise children during this step for safety. But don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own unique snowstorm style.

Step 7: Observe the Snowstorm

Observe as the Snowstorm

After shaking, set the jar on a flat surface and observe as the snowstorm settles. The food coloring and glitter will slowly sink through the oil layer and mix with the water, creating a mesmerizing swirling effect.

You can also see how the glitter creates a beautiful sparkle as it falls through the layers. This is a great opportunity to talk about density and why certain substances float or sink in the jar.

You can also discuss other topics related to snow, such as how it’s formed and why no two snowflakes are alike. It’s a fun and educational activity for both kids and adults alike.

Step 8: Adjust Water Level (Optional)

If you accidentally added too much oil or food coloring and the snow effect isn’t happening, don’t worry! You can simply adjust the water level by adding more water to the jar. Just make sure to leave enough space at the top for shaking. If you added too much oil, you can also tilt the jar and carefully pour out some of the excess oil before adding more water.

It’s important to have a good balance between the layers for the snowstorm to work properly. However, if you’re happy with the current results, you can skip this step and enjoy your snowstorm as is.

Step 9: Store in a Cool Place

Store It in a Cool Place

When you’re not using your snowstorm in a jar, make sure to store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight. This will prevent any melting or changes in density that could affect the snow effect. You can also shake the jar again before displaying it to create a fresh snowstorm every time.

And if you want to keep your snowstorm long-term, make sure to secure the lid with tape or glue for a permanent seal. It’s a great decoration for the winter season and a fun reminder of the magic of snow.

Step 10: Share Your Creation

Now that you have your own snowstorm in a jar, why not share it with others? You can take photos or videos of your creation and share them on social media with friends and family. You can also make more jars to give as gifts during the holiday season or for a winter-themed party.

And don’t forget to encourage others to try making their own snowstorm in a jar – it’s a fun and easy activity for all ages. So go ahead and share the magic of snow with others through your amazing creation! 

Following these steps on how to make a snowstorm in a jar, you can create your very own snowstorm in a jar and enjoy the beauty of winter anytime. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors, glitter amounts, and shaking techniques to find your perfect snowstorm style. And always remember to have fun and stay safe while creating this magical winter wonderland in a jar. Happy crafting!

Learning Extensions and Further Exploration

Other Materials That Could Be Used
  • Research Other Materials That Could Be Used to Create a Snowstorm in a Jar, Such as Baby Oil or Glycerin.
  • Experiment With Different Shaking Patterns and See How It Affects the Snow Effect.
  • Use This Activity as an Opportunity to Teach About the Water Cycle and How Snow is Formed.
  • Create a Mini Science Fair Project by Testing Different Ratios of Oil, Water, and Food Coloring to See Which Creates the Best Snowstorm Effect.
  • Make a Themed Snowstorm in a Jar for Different Holidays or Seasons by Using Different Colors, Glitter Shapes, and Decorations.  There Are Endless Possibilities!  Let Your Creativity Run Wild.
  • Explore Other Winter-themed Crafts and Activities, Such as Making Paper Snowflakes or Creating a Homemade Snow Globe.  You Can Even Have a Winter-themed Craft Day With Friends and Family.
  • Use the Snowstorm in a Jar as a Sensory Activity for Children by Encouraging Them to Touch, Feel, and Watch the Swirling Layers.
  • Incorporate Math Skills by Measuring Out Exact Amounts of Oil, Water, and Food Coloring for Each Layer.
  • Talk About Different Types of Weather and How They Relate to the Snowstorm in a Jar. For Example, Discuss How Blizzards or Hailstorms Are Different From Snowstorms.
  • Research the Science Behind Glitter and Why It Appears to Sparkle in the Snowstorm.  You Can Even Try Using Different Types of Glitter and Observe the Differences.
  • Use This Activity as a Team-building Exercise by Having Everyone Work Together to Create a Larger Snowstorm in a Bigger Jar.  This is Great for Classrooms or Group Activities.
  • Create a Winter-themed Sensory Bin Using Fake Snow, Cotton Balls, and Other Wintery Materials.  Add in the Snowstorm Jars as an Extra Element.
  • Have Fun and Get Creative With Your Snowstorm in a Jar – Make It Your Own Unique Masterpiece!  Share Your Ideas and Creations With Others for Inspiration. The Options Are Endless, So Let Your Imagination Run Wild.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Snowstorm Isn't Working Properly
  • If Your Snowstorm Isn’t Working Properly, Check That You Have the Right Ratio of Oil to Water. Too Much Oil Can Cause the Glitter to Clump Together Instead of Falling.
  • Make Sure to Use Clear or Light-colored Baby Oil so That the Food Coloring Will Show up More Vibrantly.
  • If You’re Having Trouble Finding Plastic Jars, You Can Use Any Clear Plastic Container Such as a Water Bottle or Food Storage Container. Just Make Sure It Has a Secure Lid.
  • Avoid Using Too Much Glitter, as It Can Overpower the Snow Effect and Make the Water Appear Cloudy Instead of Sparkly.
  • If You Want a More Opaque Appearance, You Can Use White Paint Thinned with Water Instead of Food Coloring. Just Be Sure to Mix It Well Before Adding It to the Jar.
  • If You’re Using Glitter Shapes, Make Sure They Are Small Enough to Pass Through the Hole in the Lid. Otherwise, They Could Get Stuck and Prevent Proper Shaking.
  • Always Supervise Children During This Activity, as It Involves Sharp Objects (such as Scissors) and Small Parts (such as Glitter). Safety First!  But Most Importantly, Have Fun Creating Your Own Snowstorm in a Jar.

Safety Considerations

Wear Gloves When Handling Baby Oil
  • Always Wear Gloves When Handling Baby Oil to Avoid Any Potential Irritation or Allergic Reactions.
  • When Using Scissors, Make Sure to Use Them With Adult Supervision and Caution.
  • Be Careful Not to Ingest Any of the Materials Used in This Activity, Especially the Food Coloring. If Accidentally Ingested, Seek Medical Attention Immediately.
  • Avoid Shaking the Jar Too Vigorously as It Could Cause the Jar to Break or the Lid to Come Loose.
  • Keep This Activity Away From Children Under 3 Years Old, as They May Try to Open the Jar and Ingest Small Parts.
  • Always Clean Up Any Spills or Messes Immediately to Avoid Slipping Hazards.
  • If Using Hot Water During the Creation Process, Make Sure an Adult is Present and Handling It With Care.
  • Be Cautious of Any Allergies to the Materials Used in This Activity, and Always Have an Alternative Material Available if Needed.
  • If You Plan on Using Your Snowstorm Jar as a Decoration, Make Sure to Place It Out of Reach From Young Children or Pets.
  • Dispose of Any Leftover Oil or Water Properly According to Local Regulations.
  • Always Use Caution When Handling Any Sharp Objects or Hot Materials, and Supervise Children at All Times During This Activity.
  • Have Fun Creating Your Snowstorm in a Jar, but Remember to Prioritize Safety Above All Else! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Use Any Type of Oil for the Snowstorm Jar?

A: It is recommended to use clear or light-colored baby oil as it creates the best snow effect. However, you can experiment with other types of oils such as vegetable oil or mineral oil. It may affect the appearance of the snowstorm, but it’s worth trying out!

Q: How Do I Create a Larger Snowstorm in a Bigger Jar?

A: To create a larger snowstorm in a bigger jar, you will need to use larger quantities of oil, water, and food coloring. It’s important to maintain the ratio of 2 parts oil to 1 part water, but you can adjust the amount of food coloring and glitter as desired. You may also need a larger amount of glitter shapes or thicker glitter to create a bigger snow effect.

Q: Can Adults Enjoy This Activity Too?

A: Absolutely! The Snowstorm in a Jar activity is enjoyable for all ages. It’s a great way to relax and have fun while creating a mini-storm in a jar. You can even make it into a competition with friends or family to see who can create the best-looking snowstorm.  So gather your loved ones and have some fun!


In conclusion, making a snowstorm in a jar not only presents an opportunity for an entertaining and insightful activity but also serves as a gateway to understanding fundamental scientific concepts. It demonstrates the beauty of science in everyday life and encourages curiosity and creativity among participants of all ages.

This experiment underscores the notion that learning can be both fun and educational, providing a memorable experience that ignites a passion for discovery. Thanks for reading this article on how to make a snowstorm in a jar

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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