Weather is one of the first things that very young children start to notice about the world outside the house – if it’s raining, cold, sunny, hot and they draw conclusions from those observations – if it’s raining I get to jump in puddles, if it’s hot and sunny the wading pool will go out. This weeks #playfulpreschool team are bringing you ideas for preschoolers on the topic of weather.

How hard has it rained - simple no prep preschool weather investigation

Weather is something that we’ve investigated in the past – I started when they were toddlers with a simple rain catcher that this time of the year we observed whether there was water in the pot or not, as they got older we recorded the weather using our preschool calendar and also measured the amount of rainfall with a weather man measuring stick. These helped answer long term questions, but preschoolers are inquisitive and although “how much rain did it rain” can be answered with the weather man measuring stick – it doesn’t answer the big question at the moment

How hard is it raining?

Here’s a simple method that needs no preparation that you can measure how  hard is it raining, whilst working on science you will also be working on Math skills.

Materials needed

Craft Paper
Pencil
Timer (I used my mobile phone)

Learning Objectives for preschool weather investigation

  • Investigate weather making observations of how hard is it raining
  • Counting
  • Estimation

Investigating how hard is it raining

It’s really rainy in the UK so we can often do this experiment in one day but you may need to do it over a couple of days to get difference in the rainfall – which will give you opportunities to talk about comparisons and ask questions of your child.

As it is raining get the piece of paper ready and open the back door once your child is outside start the timer for 30 seconds and let the paper get wet.

How hard has it rained - simple no prep preschool weather investigation

Each rain drop will get the paper wet – a little rain only a few drops will land on the paper, a downpour you may end up with just a wet piece of paper.

Once the time is up bring the paper inside and then get your child to draw a circle around each of the rain drops on the paper to mark where they are.

How hard has it rained - simple no prep preschool weather investigation

If the paper is just a soggy piece of paper ask about how hard it is raining at the moment – was it a lot of rain or a little amount of rain.

With the marks in place let the paper dry and you will be left with circles to show the number of rain drops. Count the number of drops and write the number and date on the paper.

How hard has it rained - simple no prep preschool weather investigation

Repeat the experiment on a different day and then you can compare the two papers and see which day had the heaviest rain – more circles = heavier rain.

More weather themed activities from #playfulpreschool

How hard has it rained - simple no prep preschool weather investigation

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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