Children are often scared of thunderstorms, but they love jumping in puddles of water and looking at rainbows after a storm ends. Making observations about the weather and discussing climate are great ways to teach children about science, especially since weather is something children can easily relate to and understand. Whether it's clear and sunny or rainy and windy outside, weather and climate affect children's lives every day. Kaplan Early Learning has several ideas on education your child about weather and climate:
Share observations and fun facts about weather. Make sure you take time to discuss children's data and their observations about the weather. Are they seeing seasonal changes in nature? Do they understand what's causing the temperature to increase or decrease? Do younger children understand the characteristics of each season? Discussing a variety of weather information, such as the fun facts shared by The Weather Channel, can also spark children's interest in weather and science and make learning more fun.
Track hurricanes and learn about funnel clouds. Depending on the age and ability of the children in your care, you can have children individually track hurricanes on a map or a piece of graph paper or you can track hurricanes as a class on a bulletin board or computer program. There are also science experiments you can do as a class that imitate a tornado's vortex on a much smaller scale. Use these activities as opportunities to teach children about hurricanes and tornadoes and to give them the tools and skills they'll need if a natural disaster occurs.
Take time to watch or read the local weather forecast. Many news stations record their weather forecasts and post them online for viewers to watch. This presents the perfect opportunity to watch the local weather forecast as a class and talk about the forecast and new weather words the meteorologist uses. You can also choose to read the local weather forecast from a newspaper or weather-related website.
Keep a weather journal throughout the school year. Weather journals are a great way for children to keep track of their weather observations and any information they learn about weather and climate. Consider taking pictures of different weather-related scenes and having kids add them to their journals. Each child will then have something to look back on and review everything they've learned about weather and climate.