Friday, May 2, 2014

Incorporating the Weather into Early Learning Adventures

The weather can be a wonderful way to introduce children to many ideas and concepts. Children love to stomp in puddles, build snow forts, and bask in the sun! Why not throw some learning activities in with all the fun?

Daily weather observation can be a fun way to collect scientific data. 
Preschool children can chart their daily weather observations for several days. Children can draw the sun, rain, or snow and dictate a brief description. Use the chart to answer questions such as, “How many days in a row did the sun shine?” “Did it rain yesterday?” Weather observations can also be included in a class journal (Illinois Early Learning Project, 2013). 

Making a human rainstorm may help children cope with 
weather-related fears.
Use a toilet paper tube and beads or pebbles to make a shaker that sounds like pounding rain. Try cutting long slits in any rubberized material and shake, simulating a softer, steady rain.  What might you make with a recycled plastic container and buttons? A child might even pat on a metal pan to simulate thunder. Turn out the overhead lights and turn a flashlight on and off rapidly and you have lightning! 

Exercise the imagination through story dictation.
Children are often enthusiastic about changes in the weather! Capture this enthusiasm using story dictation. A child can tell you a weather related story while you write it out. Build literacy skills by reading it over and over again!  

Looking for more?   
Try these links to see additional weather-related activities:

This article also published in Positively Naperville--a local, reader supported, monthly newspaper published in Naperville, Illinois. Positively Naperville has been supported by a great group of local businesses, organically growing four pages at a time since it was first printed issue in September 2001.

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