Weather is one of my favourite early years topics - it's something that you can include in the curriculum any time of the year and there are so many branches that you can take. For this week's Virtual Book Club for Kids I'm focusing on maths and weather - but do check out at the end of the activity for further ideas for activities and crafts for maths and other subjects and areas as well as our book suggestions including this week's featured book Little Cloud by Eric Carle. Recording and graphing are really easy ideas to introduce to toddlers and preschools, we have created bar graphs with information about what our friends like before and this time we are going to record and graph the weather.
Materials Needed for Recording and Graphing Weather
I have created this activity for use within the home based on how I used to use it within in my classroom. If you are using it within a class setting then follow the suggestions at the end of this post.
Recording and Graphing Weather with Preschoolers
Download and print out the Recording and Graphing Weather Resources. Page 1 is going to be used to record the weather, you could laminate the sheet and then use a whiteboard marker to record the weather each day. But my children have always loved using stickers so using some sticky dots has worked well with them as they love adding them to the chart every day.
You will see on the chart that we have 4 different weather observations for when it's not snowing, raining or windy. Sunny (no cloud), mostly sunny (few clouds), partially sunny (sun peeking through) and cloudy. To determine what kind of weather it
To determine what kind of weather it is get your child to make a square with their hands and look up at the sky. If the sky within that square is all blue then it is sunny, if all the sky is cloudy it's easy however, with the other two mostly blue skies with a few cloud it's mostly sunny, then mostly cloudy with a little blue it's partially sunny.
Let them add the sticker to the chart.
Then at the end of the week collate the results and show them how to form a graph.
With Sheet 2 of the download cut out each of the individual weather patterns. Then sit with your child and find the correct square on the table where they have been recording the weather. Count the number of dots or marks they have made and then sort out the correct number of weather patterns.
Place all of the weather conditions into the correct columns and then glue them in place.
We do this at the end of the week and then add to it for each other week till the end of the month however you can plan to do this as you wish.
Recording and Graphing Weather in a Preschool Classroom
When I used this in the classroom I enlarged all of the resources so that it could form part of circle time every morning.
I printed out the recording chart on as large a piece of paper as my printer could handle. A3 in the case of our setting but you could go to a stationery shop or printers and asked for it to be printed larger.
Then each morning we followed the same recording pattern adding sticky dots this set of 1/2 inch sticky dots are great as the children can see them from a distance.
The graph sheet was printed on large paper and in each column I had placed 5 velcro dots and then on laminated versions of the weather symbols (5 of each sort) I added the other half of the velcro dots.
Then in the last circle time of the week we looked at our recording and the children took turns to add the weather to the graph.
Questions to ask based on the Weather Graph
With the graph produced you can use this to talk about the results with the children. Simple questions work best and it's great to connect the weather patterns that you see with the seasons. Examples are:
- Which weather did we see the most this week?
- Why was it cold/hot?
- What do you think it will be like next week? (this is a great question to ask as you transition from one season to the next as it always amazes me the answers you get)
If it's been a mostly rainy week then ask the children how much rain has fallen and any ideas that the children have for working it out. Our weather station is very simple to make with toddlers and preschoolers and the weather man spoon works well for recording rainfall.
Weather Book Suggestions for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Each week of the Virtual Book Club for Kids I make 5 book suggestions to add to the book box based on the weekly theme. This week the featured book is by one of my kids favourite author and illustrator Little Cloud by Eric Carle.
Other books suggestions on the Weather Theme
Freddy The Frogcaster by Janice Dean
Worm Weather by Jean Taft
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Kite Day: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand
Recommended Products for Weather Theme
This weather station discovery box is great for ages 3 and above made by Green Kids Craft, including a weather station, cloud finder and wind sock you have all of the equipment to turn your preschoolers into meterologists without having to search for all of the ideas, resources, and equipment.