Tornado in a Bottle

This Tornado in a Bottle activity & project also includes:

Studying the science of tornadoes? Make a tornado in a bottle to demonstrate how vortexes are formed in tornadoes. The activity should be used as a way to demonstrate what pupils already know about tornadoes. 

21 Views 18 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Add glitter or vegetable oil to the bottle for an added look to the tornadoes
  • Ask parents to donate clean plastic liter bottles for kids to use
  • Tornado Tubes work best rather than wasters and tape. Have class members purchase these outside of class, buy them yourself, or ask parent volunteers to donate some to the class
  • Research appropriate videos and pictures of tornadoes that demonstrate the formation of a tornado vortex
Classroom Considerations

  • Model how to create a tornado in a bottle as well as how to mimic the vortex motion in the bottle
  • The washer and tape method does not avoid messes and spills
  • If using food coloring, ensure areas being used are easy to clean up and will not stain
  • Works best as a supplemental activity during a weather or hazardous weather unit

  • Hands-on and fun for pupils to discover how tornadoes create vortexes
  • Can be done in school or at home

  • The chosen method for attaching the two bottles together is not the most efficient way of making tornadoes in a bottle