Hot Air Rises Experiment {Preschool Science}

My 3 year old is obsessed with The Magic School Bus series of books. At first I wasn’t too sure of these books but, wow, are these books effective. My son knows more than me about A LOT of topics thanks to this series. So I am not embarrassed to admit that I sourced this idea from The Magic School Bus Inside the Hurricane. The activity is so simple, I had to share it with you.



  1. Piece of paper
  2. Scissors
  3. Needle & Thread (or tape)
  4. Lamp



  1. Draw a spiral on the paper
  2. Cut out the spiral (older children can do these first two steps on their own)
  3. Put the needle & thread through the top of the spiral (make sure a knot is tied at the end). I actually ended up taping the thread to the spiral.
  4. Hold the spiral by the thread above the warm/hot light bulb
  5. Watch the hot air rise and make the paper spiral spin



  • Ask your children to postulate on why the spiral spins?
  • What does the light bulb do to the air?
  • What happens to the warm air? Where does it go?
  • What does this activity do to the spiral?


Thanks for visiting!