Teach preschoolers about weather with these 5 great hands-on learning ideas your homeschool children will love.
5 Ways to Teach Preschoolers About Weather
Weather can be a fascinating subject to explore with preschoolers. Weather is something that is a constant presence in our lives, yet it can change from one hour to the next. It can be serene and beautiful, warm and cozy, cold and bitter, and even a bit scary. Here are a few simple, yet fun, ways that you can teach preschoolers about weather.
Chart the Weather
Each day, for a month, chart the weather. Take your preschooler outside (or to the window) and ask “What’s the weather like today?” Encourage them to use as many descriptive terms as they can. In the beginning, suggest words: sunny, windy, cloudy, rainy, stormy, snowy, etc. Print out little pictures that represent the various types of weather so that they have a visual representation to choose from. This not only helps them to become more observant about the weather, it also helps them to further develop their vocabulary.
For example, if they say that it is cold outside, introduce them to synonyms like chilly and freezing. If they say it is windy, teach them words like blustery and breezy. At the end of the month review how much the weather has changed just over the course of a few weeks.
Members, print the Weather Observations Record Chart and Weather Words for Preschoolers in your dashboard and add this weather watching activity to your morning time.
The Four Seasons
Another great way to learn about how the weather changes over time is to talk about the four seasons. Hand each child 4 sheets of paper and a variety of materials (crayons, markers, magazines, kid-safe scissors, glue, etc.). Label each page with one of the four seasons. Then, for each one chat about the various aspects of that specific season. Questions to ask: What is the weather like? What kind of activities can you do today? How does the yard look? What kind of clothes do you wear? Help each child to decorate each page accordingly.
Get creative with each page for the current season. For example, in the spring collect a freshly bloomed flower. This is a fun way to combine art and science. You can always create wonderful Chalk Art pictures with inspiration from Spring Homeschool Nature Study with Art.
Track a Thunderstorm
Has the weather channel predicted a thunderstorm in your area? You and your preschoolers can track the thunderstorm as it makes its way across the sky. All you need is a stopwatch and your ears. More than likely, there will be lightning and thunder. Explain to your preschooler that light travels faster than sound. So even though lightning and thunder actually happen at the same time, we see the lightning first. After you have explained that, wait for a flash of lightning. Once you see it, either use your stopwatch or count the number of seconds vocally until you hear thunder. For every 5 seconds that you count, the storm is a mile away. For example, if you count five seconds between the lightning and thunder, the storm is one mile away. If you count ten seconds between the two, then the storm is two miles away. This is also a fun way to practice counting together and even introduce other languages!
The Water Cycle
The Magic School Bus Season 2 covered the water cycle: The Magic School Bus: Wet All Over. Replicate the process with the following experiment. Grab a small cup and fill 1/3 of it with water. Place the cup in the middle of a big plastic bowl, then cover the bowl with saran wrap. Feel free to use string or yarn to keep the saran wrap in place. Now place the covered bowl in sunlight and watch as the sun causes the water to evaporate, condense onto the saran wrap, and then drip into the bowl. This is a fun experiment to recreate the water cycle right in your home!
Members can print the Water Cycle Worksheet in your Dashboard to fill out after the experiment.
Make a Rainbow
Is it just me or does your preschooler love discovering rainbows in the sky? There’s something about them that seems downright magical. Delight your preschooler one sunny day by telling them you are going to make a rainbow. All you need is sunlight and a water hose connected to a working spout. Turn the water on. Once the water is flowing out of the hose, put your thumb over part of the nozzle until it sprays out. Hold the hose into the air with the water still spraying and turn until the sunlight hits the water and creates your very own rainbow. Ask your preschooler to see how many colors they can identify. This could be a great way to help reinforce what they have learned about colors.
Teaching Preschoolers About Weather
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that you can explore weather on a regular basis.
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Maureen helps Christian mompreneurs operate their business from a place of joy, purpose, and excellence because they are clear on how their business is serving their family and others. As a homeschool mom, she believes success at home AND business without the mom-guilt, stress and burn-out is possible! Outside of work, she loves having good conversations over a hot chai or GT Gingerberry kombucha and spending time with her husband and seven children. Visit her at MaureenSpell.com