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.
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.
Timer (I used my mobile phone)
Learning Objectives for preschool weather investigation
- Investigate weather making observations of how hard is it raining
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.