Children love science, especially when it is a hands-on activity. And science really is fun and easy when it’s on a child’s level. This time of year, when the seasons are changing, it’s a great time to observe different types of weather. Our Rachel and the Treeschoolers: Rainy Day Guide is full of fun and easy activities you can do at home to help explore the weather and create some wonderful memories, too! Take a Weather Nature Walk, Make your Own TreeSchoolers Play, Make a Rainy Day Book, and practice singing and signing some of the weather terminology explored in our Rachel and the TreeSchoolers: A Rainy Day episode.
Weather studies can be casual and fun. Here are some ways to have fun learning about weather with your kids.
For young children, we can describe weather as whatever is happening in the sky and in the air. If we’re working with older children, we can explain that weather on the earth is caused by the heat of the sun and the movement of the air. When we say “weather,” we’re talking about things like sun, rain, and wind, as well as heat and cold. However, weather is a lot more than just sun and clouds. Beautiful things like sunsets, rainbows, and thunderstorms are also part of weather. Bring in some of these interesting and beautiful things to have even more fun learning about weather.
Learn about weather
Check the children’s section of your library for simple books about weather. Take some time to read together, and let your older children explore some of them on their own.
There are so many kids’ videos about weather. National Geographic Kids has some videos and other resources, and there are more weather videos than you’ll ever have time to watch on YouTube.
At My Signing Time, we have Rachel and the TreeSchoolers: A Rainy Day to explain clouds, rain, thunder, and lightning. And there’s also the Rachel and Me series, which has episodes on rainbows, going outside in the summer, and going outside in the winter. Signing Time and Baby Signing Time have episodes about weather too. With a My Signing Time digital subscription, you can access all of these whenever you’d like on any device. Use our fun videos to help your kids have fun learning about weather. You can try it out with a 14-day free trial here!
Use activities to learn about weather
There are so many activities to help you and your kids have fun learning about weather together. Here are a few easy ones to get you started.
Make a weather tracking chart
You can print out a blank calendar page or create one to reflect a week, two weeks, or even a month. Plug in your dates, glue it to a bright piece of paper, and you have a weather tracking chart!
Each day, check the temperature around the same time and mark it on your chart. Note the general weather (sun, sun and clouds, rain, snow, cloudy, stormy) and have your kids draw a picture of the weather for the day. You could also get stickers to show the weather or print out little pictures of sun or rain or snow.
At the end of your weather tracking time, you can look over the chart with your kids and count the number of sunny days, rainy days, or other weather days. Have your kids find the highest and lowest temperatures.
Build a tornado
You’ll need two 2-liter clear bottles. Fill one of the bottles about ⅔ full with water. You can add food coloring and even glitter to help with seeing the swirling tornado. Use duct tape to tape the necks of the two bottles together. Make sure you have a really tight seal. Then flip the bottles over so that the one with water is on top. Swirl the top bottle around a bit to get the motion started. Then set your contraption down and watch the tornado action!
Make a cloud
Run hot water over a jar to warm it up, and then fill it with hot water and leave it for about a minute. Dump out most of the hot water, keeping about an inch of it in the jar. Set a strainer on top of the jar and put 3-4 ice cubes into the strainer. When the warm air in the jar rises to meet the cold air from the ice cubes, the water will condense and form a little cloud.
Make a rainbow
Fill a bowl or a glass halfway with water. Set a small mirror into the water so that it is tilted back at an angle and so that the mirror is part in the water and part out of the water. Set the glass in a window that has direct light hitting the mirror. You can hold white paper to show the reflection or you can let the rainbow display on a nearby wall.
Another way to make a rainbow is to use any kind of prism or crystal and a flashlight. Take your prism to a completely dark room, and shine the flashlight through it. You’ll see a beautiful rainbow display.