How to Make a Tornado Tube Connector Toy

A tornado in a bottle is a great way to teach kids about elemental forces. With a few inexpensive objects, you can replicate a powerful force of nature; after all, a tornado is really nothing more than a spinning column of air (although the top touches the clouds and the bottom touches the ground, which creates all the problems). All you need are two soda bottles and a little device called a tornado tube connector. This can be purchased in a teacher store or from a specialty catalog, but it's also simple to make.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 plastic soda bottles (with caps)

  • Cap Method:

  • Electric drill

  • 1/4 inch drill bit

  • Glue

  • Washer Method:

  • Washer with 3/8 inch hole

  • Electrical tape

Cap Method

Step 1

Remove the caps from the plastic bottles.

Step 2

Use a strong adhesive (Crazy Glue, for example) to glue the caps together, top to top.

Step 3

After the caps have dried, drill a 1/4 inch hole through both of them. This is your tornado tube connector!

Step 4

Fill one soda bottle about 2/3 full of water. Add food coloring for effect, if desired.

Step 5

Screw one side of the tornado tube connector into the bottle with the water, and the other side into an empty bottle.

Washer Method

Step 1

Fill one soda bottle about two-thirds full of water.

Step 2

Place the washer on top of the soda bottle.

Step 3

Put the empty soda bottle on top of the washer. You might want a second person to hold it stationary.

Step 4

Bind the bottles together with electrical tape.

Step 5

Shake the bottle gently to make sure there are no leaks.

Tip

The washer method works well and is a bit easier to do (especially for those uncomfortable using drills), but if you're looking for a permanent tornado tube, stick with the first method.

If the tornado tube is used frequently, the electrical tape may need to be replaced every so often.

References & Resources