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Tornado Lab

I'm a weather junkie so I'm predisposed to enjoy a tornado toy, but what a cool toy this is! From Discovery Channel, this tornado in a jar not only teaches the kids about how tornados form but because it uses water to do it, it offers all kinds of other opportunities for scientific exploration.  In addition to the tornado lab and a DVD exploring tornadoes and hurricanes, the toy comes with small red foam cubes and small yellow plastic balls that the kids can add to the tornado to learn how the density of an object impacts its behavior.  My kids have also added various food colorings and even dipped their fingers in to see how the tornado changes.  And, because the device that whirls the water around is small, rounded and way down at the bottom of the container I don't have to worry about injury when the kids do stick their fingers in.  Sure, it can be  a little messy, but who cares - it is science in a jar!  And, my son's teacher even has plans to use the toy for teaching about weather this fall in their study of planet earth.