Weather Science Activities for Preschoolers
Weather science is so much fun for preschoolers to learn about. These are some simple yet hands-on learning activities to help your preschooler learn all about the different types of weather. These activities will help your preschooler understand more complex topics in a simpler way and they will have a blast while learning!
Teaching Preschoolers about Wind
Snow falling, rain, and leaves on the ground are simpler concepts to teach preschoolers, but they can physically see the changes. While most of our preschoolers know there is wind, it can be a little bit more difficult for them to understand what wind is. When teaching preschoolers about wind, use vocabulary words like air, blow, strong, sway, gust, float, and breeze. Using these words will help give preschoolers a way to associate the different aspects of wind. Explain to preschools how the wind is invisible but can still be powerful, and we can see its force through things moving in the air. Using objects like wind chimes and pinwheels can help preschoolers understand what is happening when there is wind.
Kites: One of the best ways to help preschoolers understand what wind is and how it works is by flying a kite. Flying a kite helps your preschooler understand that it takes wind to blow the kite. Some of the wind hits the kite directly. It goes over and under, helping to lift the kite up. And, there are some really cool kites out there!
Wind Station: Windsocks are popular items that we hang outside our homes, and it's fun to see how they blow in the wind. Now your preschooler has the chance to create their very own windsock using construction paper and tissue paper. They can decorate their windsock in however they would like then hang it up to watch it blow in the wind.
Wind Blowing Tray: Set up a wind blowing tray and help your preschoolers understand the concept of wind with their own blowing strength. Invite your preschooler to use a straw to see how strong they need to blow to move different items across a baking sheet. Gather different materials like beads, cotton balls, dried pasta, feathers, and small toys. A great activity for your child to understand the concept of wind and what it takes to move different items!
Teaching Preschoolers about Clouds
I remember going on walks as a child and looking up at the sky with so much curiosity about those cool fluffy things in the sky! Do your preschoolers love talking to you about the clouds? Play a game with them asking what different shapes and figures they see. Preschoolers can learn so much about the weather when they dive deeper into understanding clouds. And, there are some great cloud activities we can do in the classroom.
Cloud in a Jar: Before starting the cloud in a jar experiment, talk to your preschoolers about how inside a cloud, there are many water droplets inside the clouds. They move around and bump into one another, and they continue to get bigger and bigger until the cloud can hold them anymore, which is when rain is formed. Then use a glass filled with water and add layers of shaving cream to the top. Then invite your preschooler to use eyedroppers to drop food coloring into the clouds, and watch as the food coloring begins to slip through the clouds into the glass of water. A really cool experiment for preschoolers to understand what happens inside a cloud.
Cotton Ball Clouds: Preschools are so curious, and a lot of them want to know all of the details about complex topics. And, there are many types of clouds and while they are definitely BIG words for a preschool to say. We can teach them about the different types of clouds then using cotton balls construct the different types onto construction paper. This is a great whole group activity.
Explaining Rain to Preschoolers
Preschools love rain especially jumping in puddles! Rain is so important for our plants and animals plus it’s really fascinating to learn about. But, what is rain? I am sure that is a question that many of you educators get from your curious little learners. Using books and funvideos are really great ways to help your students begin to understand the science behind rain. And, of course fun experiments. We can start by telling preschoolers that rain is called precipitation, and it is water falling from the sky. Raindrops fall when clouds get too heavy with all of the water droplets.
Water Cycle in a bag: Create your own water cycle in a bag for your preschoolers to watch the magic happen over the next few days. An excellent way for students to truly understand the water cycle. Start by drawing a sun, cloud, and water on the bag. Then fill a little less than 1/2 cup of water into the bag and add food coloring. And tape the bag in the window. Over the next few days, watch the water form into vapor then slowly turn into precipitation. Preschoolers will LOVE watching the water cycle in action, and it’s a great way to understand what happens to the water here on Earth. Here are a few more ideas about teaching the water cycle.
Rain Gauge: Rain gauges are such a neat tool for measuring the rain. And, the best part is they are easy to make and an awesome opportunity to teach preschools a ton of math skills from number recognition, counting, and measuring. Set one up near a window, so your students can check it, and record the rain levels daily.
Rain Cloud Experiments: When learning about clouds we explored how we could make a rain cloud using shaving cream. But, did you know we can do that experiment with other materials too? Try using cotton balls in a jar of water and use an eyedropper to drop water on to the cotton balls, and observe what happens. Science experiments allow us to trial and error different materials to help students gain a deeper understanding!
Rainbow Science Activities
If you ask your preschoolers if they have ever seen a rainbow, I am sure you will see the excitement in their eyes. Rainbows have such a magical component, don’t they? And, since preschoolers love rainbows. Why not teach them the science behind them with some engaging science activities? Rainbows are rays of color, the sun makes rainbows when sunlight passes through raindrops. The raindrops act like tiny prisms. They bend the different colors in white light, and the light spreads out into colors that can be reflected back to you as a rainbow.
Create your own rainbow: Invite your preschoolers to make their own rainbow with a glass of water, a compact mirror and sunlight. You will simply position the cup so the mirror is positioned in the sun. And, then move the cup so that you can create a rainbow on the wall or whiteboard. Keep moving the cup into a rainbow disappears. Ask your students what they think happened, and explain why we don't always see rainbows when it rains.
Play with Prisms: Prisms provide a hands-on and engaging way for preschoolers to observe and make predictions about light. You can create an exploration center using various prisms and invite your preschoolers to move around the room, trying to create as many rainbows as they can.
Walking rainbows have quickly become one of my favorite science experiments, they are so cool, and, preschoolers love doing this activity. You can try this experiment here!
Pretend to be a Meteorologist
Meteorologists are important community helpers! Watch one on your local news station, and have your students pretend to be one as well! Use our Meteorologist Props inside our News Station Dramatic Play Pack to set on up in your program. Create a habit of checking the weather in your program every day.
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