We have loved doing some weather activities in the past couple weeks, and being more aware of the weather, the clouds, temperatures and wind. We also had a fantastic summer but the rainy season just caught up to us so the boys have been enjoying some rain and mud play! Here is a recap of our weather learning activities!
WEATHER WHEEL AND WEATHER JOURNALING
This was one of my 5 year old favorite activities, he is in a phase where he draws everything so the weather journaling was very interesting to him! I created a weather wheel from cardboard and felt, used weather that we have often in our area and although we rarely have snow I added the snow because my 5 year old loves it.
Then every day after each meal Alex would grab his weather wheel, heads outside to look at the weather, looks on his wheel what the weather currently is and draws it on a chart I prepared for him. He really enjoyed doing it and added lots of personal touches to it.
This was my 3 years old favorite activity! I drew the people, taped the umbrellas and people under the umbrella with blue painting tape and taped them to the easel outside (it is messy, they had purple paint all the way from their toes to the top of their heads). I gave the boys complementary colors and pipettes, and let them splash.
They had so much FUN splashing the colors!! So much so that the process is all they cared about but I thought the result was pretty good too. Also if your kids are really eager, like mine were, make sure you tape it really well, as you can see on the kids painting I have a few lines under the umbrellas where the color leaked. We ended up doing this one several times with just white paper as they loved the process.
4 WEATHER SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Alex often asks how wind is made we started by making wind in a jar. Since this was a success we did 3 more!
Wind in a jar: we used 2 jars of cold water, colored red, 2 jars of hot water, colored blue (the jars have to be exactly the same size), carefully, use a plastic card to keep the one you are flipping over closed and stack them. Then remove the card. Finally we watched the hot water go or stay up and learned that when hot air meets cold air the hot wants to go up therefore creating wind.
Rain cloud: this one is a classic experiment! Add water and shaving foam to a jar and with a pipette add watercolor (or food coloring). The color will fill the cloud eventually falling out creating "rain". This is an easy and fun activity and even more fun for the boys since pipettes are involved! Tornado in a jar:
we put water, soap, white vinegar and food coloring in a jar, closed it and shook it to make a "tornado". The shaking has to be in a perfect circular manner or no tornado will show. The shaking motion was hard for the boys to make and only I could get the tornado to happen, which made it less interesting for them (although they tried very hard). Cloud in a jar:
we placed hot water in a jar, sprayed hair spray on top and placed a bowl of ice cubes on top). Then you can see the cloud form between the water and the bowl! It was kind of neat, plus when you remove the bowl you can see the "cloud" leave the jar!
We took a better look at the clouds and decided to paint them using blue and black paint and cotton balls. My 5 years old had NO interest. My 3 years old loves painting so I made the cloud formations I know and are the most common and Matisse enjoyed painting, sticking cotton balls on the paint and painting the sky and the clouds. We talked about how clouds look different and there are lots of different ones and that they bring different weather. I had the names ready, but my boys are clearly not ready so I will keep that for a while and see if an interest resurfaces later on.
PAINTING THE SKY We took the painting outside and painted the sky on a mirror with blue tempera paint and shaving foam!
In the mirror they were able to see the clouds, the sky (and the trees) and they had a lot of fun with the paint and the foam. At some point they let go of the paintbrushes and dug right in with their hands! They also drew more clouds on the mirror with their fingers! It made for a fun sensory messy play and a different painting experience!