Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weather Week for Preschoolers - Part 2

Although Weather Week did not work out exactly as wished in certain ways (would you believe the weather did not cooperate?), it certainly was a fun-filled week. I hope the following activities will inspire you to have your own weather-themed day/week as well. If the weather allows in your area, build a sundial, a rain gauge and an anemometer. We certainly planned on it but from Monday to Friday, we were under a thick blanket of clouds...with no wind of course! :)

Umbrella raindrops spelling
Umbrellas & Raindrops are for Spelling

Out of construction paper, I cut four colorful umbrellas and three blue raindrops for each. I mindfully chose four weather-related words (hot, sun, wet, and fog). I purposely mixed up the letters prior to putting them in little piles on the tray. I knew Adrian would know some of the words but wasn't sure he'd know them all. My plan was not for them to read them so much as to "write them". I planned on telling him the word so he'd spell it with the letters. Alas, he knew all the words and spelled the words all by himself. And the student beat the master! :) 

Umbrella Raindrop 3 letter words
Spelling with Raindrops - Weather Words

Water Cycle
The Water Cycle

I know this seems advanced for preschool but I thought this particular graphic was simple and really...I was only going to introduce the water cycle to Adrian. I don't expect him to retain everything I present. At this age, rousing his curiosity is more my goal when I explore this kind of thing. Amazingly, the water cycle really interested him...after I explained it to him by using my washer & dryer duo. See below if this piques your curiosity too!

Condensation glass

This little cup was rinsed by Adrian under water and then set to dry on our windowsill. Within an hour Adrian came back to check on it and... all the water had evaporated. There goes the water cycle! 

Washer Dryer Water Cycle
Explaining the Water with a Washer & Dryer

Explaining the water cycle to preschooler is not exactly the easiest thing. Well, it is but for them to really grasp the concept, it's a bit difficult since it is not exactly hands on. To give a better example of the water cycle to Adrian,  I used my washer and dryer. Now, European dryers are "different" than North American ones. Not sure how they are on other continents as I've never discussed laundry with my friends in Asia and Australia and other places but in Europe, dryers do not vent their water into the outside world. That's right. There is no hole in my wall connecting my dryer to the outside. Instead, the water goes into a condensation drawer which I empty after each load just like a lint trap. (You can see the drawer on top of the dryer door. (top left)) Now, you see, this washer-dryer duo is perfect for explaining the water cycle. I took Adrian downstairs, showed him the load of laundry in the "ocean". We felt how wet it was.  Took a load out of the dryer, felt how dry it was. Had the water evaporated? It had! Where had it gone? It had condensed into the "cloud"! We checked the "cloud" (condensation drawer) and sure enough when we pulled out the drawer, it was full so we emptied it into the sink and there was our "rain" going back into the ground thanks to pipes...I even explained to Adrian that if I didn't empty the "cloud" myself, that it would make it rain by itself but that it wouldn't be good for the dryer! (it leaks droplets).

Tornado Map
Tornado Map & Math

Tornadoes seemed to fascinate Adrian after he saw the picture in the nomenclature cards. Even more after he saw the video. As such, I prepared a map of the United States showing the frequency of tornadoes from 2000-2010 per state. I then asked him to count the number of red states, orange, yellow and finally green. We discussed the significance of that (lots of tornadoes, not a lot, probably none, etc.). I also showed him where NY was since he lived there for a little while. He was glad to see it was a "green" state. I then showed him where his daddy and I lived for a couple of years and to his surprise it was orange! I did not tell him but while we lived there, it felt like I spent quite a while hiding in the walk-in closet, waiting for the sirens to stop blowing. Thankfully, the only tornado I ever saw there did not touch down and the only one that did, did so shortly after we moved away.

The only "tornado" I ever saw while living in Alabama. 
Took the time to photograph it before I went to hide! ;)

Tornado in a Jar with Foil
Tornado in a Jar

We happen to live in a "boring" place where tornado and hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis are practically non-existant (Germany does get tornadoes, even EF3s but SO rarely). Lucky, you might say. Well, I still wanted to "spice things up" during weather week, so I thought we'd try to make a tornado happen. I remembered the experiment using two soda bottles but since no one drinks soda in this house, I thought it'd be silly to buy two-2Liters just for that. Luckily, EllieMoon had featured a tornado in a jar! It looked so neat and easy that I had to try it. The children love olives so in no time, I had the perfect jar for the experiment! :) Unfortunately, with my very weak wrist, my tornado was also very weak but my husband got it going to a nice speed (see picture above!). To add further interest, Adrian tore some tiny bits of foil that the tornado sucked up! Ooo. Now that's what we're talking about!

Weather Graph Preschool
Weather Graph for the Week

I'll be honest, filling in a weather graph had never been so boring...Although I did ask Adrian to fill in a rectangle everyday and to look well outside and into several windows, the colored box was always the same..."Cloudy". We happen to live under a constant stretch of clouds. We actually see them so often that when I presented the cloud nomenclature cards to Adrian, he had no hesitation whatsoever as to which ones were covering "his sky". :) Weather graph was obtained thru k8alexander on Glogster.

Cloud Cards Nomenclature
Cloud Nomenclature Cards

Once again, the perfectionist and budget conscious mama in me, made me hunt down pictures and prepare these nomenclature cards myself. We went through all the heights of the clouds, the names, what usually accompanies them and described them a bit. We of course identify what kind of clouds we had outside and Adrian pinned down the "status" successfully. Please note that not all my cards are shown in the picture, only a few are, but we did cover them all. To help me prepare my cards, I used WeatherWizKids quite a bit. The language was easy so it helped me simplify the scientific language to a preschooler's level.

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  1. What an excellent post. I would love it if you would share this with my readers at HammockTracks. The Look What We Did link up is a month long and this would me a great addition. -Savannah

    1. Thank you for dropping by and for the nice comments Savannah. I'll take a look into Hammock Tracks for sure. Thanks for the invitation!

  2. I'm inspired! Have to include this in our activities. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You're welcome! Glad to see you stop by and leaving with some ideas! :)

  3. Such great ideas! I can't wait to try this with my 3.5 year old. Hopefully our rainy Seattle skies will cooperate. :) Pinning. Thanks!

    1. Good luck! At least the rain gauge shouldn't be a problem! LOL

  4. I love it!! I have pinned this one as well to use with my daughter for our weather week! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I really should start a Pinterest account instead of taking notes! :) I am so behind when it comes to that stuff. :) Pin away! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing on Mom's Library! I'm featuring both of your weather theme posts along with my round up of preschool themes on this week's Mom's Library. I also linked to your preschool themes post.

    1. Wow! Thank you so much Jackie! It's always very flattering to see my posts being featured among all the great ones being linked up each week! I'll definitely check out your post for your round up of preschool themes. I'll be on the hunt for Kindergarten themes and Toddler themes this year! :)