Science at Home: Make a Tornado in a Bottle

tornado in a bottle

Learn how to make a tornado in a bottle with this fun science experiment for kids. Using easy to find items such as dishwashing liquid, water, glitter and a bottle you can make your own mini-tornado that’s a lot safer than one you might see on the weather channel. Follow the instructions and enjoy the cool water vortex you create!

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • A clear plastic bottle with a cap (that won’t leak)
  • Glitter
  • Dish washing liquid



1. Fill the plastic bottle with water until it reaches around three quarters full. 2. Add a few drops of dish washing liquid. 3. Sprinkle in a few pinches of glitter (this will make your tornado easier to see). 4. Put the cap on tightly. 5. Turn the bottle upside down and hold it by the neck. Quickly spin the bottle in a circular motion for a few seconds, stop and look inside to see if you can see a mini tornado forming in the water. You might need to try it a few times before you get it working properly.

ALSO TRY: Science at Home: Make a Big Dry Ice Bubble

What’s happening?

Spinning the bottle in a circular motion creates a water vortex that looks like a mini tornado. The water is rapidly spinning around the center of the vortex due to centripetal force (an inward force directing an object or fluid such as water towards the center of its circular path). Vortexes found in nature include tornadoes, hurricanes, and waterspouts (a tornado that forms over water).


How did yours turn out? Send us a picture or video of your tornado in a bottle experiment to and we’ll feature it on our blog for the #NoniTribe


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