Kids of all ages are naturally interested in the weather since it is part of their everyday experience. Whether you live in a seasonal climate or a tropical climate, students seem to be fascinated by changes in weather and how it operates when it comes to elements like rain, snow, etc.
Whenever we do a deep dive into the topic of weather, I love to use the following preschool weather activities to supplement our curriculum so that all activities can be fun and hands-on.
This is a fun preschool weather activity that is ongoing that I like to do with young students. It integrates math by using a bar graph, so it shows students how math and science can go hand-in-hand.
I like to give each student their own clipboard with a copy of our weather chart, and students can track the daily weather individually. Then I like to have a designated “weather reporter” fill out a larger version of this chart that is attached to the window so it can be referred to easily. When we discuss the daily weather, I ask students to use key words like: sunny, rainy, windy, etc. when describing the weather outside. I also like for them to notice that it’s perfectly fine to choose more than one category for a day. For example, it can be sunny and windy.
This is another graphing weather activity that is a little more complicated and can be done with your older students to show the gradient of color and pattern of temperatures during a week or month of time. I like to do this activity for seven days straight and during the different seasons since I happen to live where there are clear weather changes depending on the season. Doing this throughout the year helps students see that there are drastic changes in temperature depending on what time of year it is and how close we are to the sun.
The best way I recommend doing this activity is having one of those digital clocks that show outdoor temperature so that you don’t have to look it up each time. These clocks come in various sizes and will also help with number recognition.
You can choose to do this as a whole group during your circle time or you can have individual charts and jars for students to do each day. Once a student/group figures out what the daily temperature is, they use a pencil and corresponding color marker to fill in each row. Then, using a designated spoon, a student scoops the corresponding color of sand or rice and places in the jar. Over time, whether it be a week or a month, students will begin to see the gradient of color and any patterns as they get closer to a new time of year.
When exploring the topic of rain and rainbows, this is a great independent activity you can have in your Language Arts center in your room. Have a metal baking sheet, magnetic letters that are colors of the rainbow, and photos of rainbows, if possible. Then have a blank piece of paper with color markers that are colors in the rainbow. Students can draw a rainbow by referring to an example or photos provided. Then students can place their drawing on the baking sheet and use the magnetic letters to sort into the colors of the rainbow. Encourage students to say the letter name as they place it on their rainbow to reinforce letter recognition as well.
Many young students may not know what a tornado looks like, so this activity will most likely introduce them to what a tornado is and how powerful it is. Show a video of tornado footage and photos of tornadoes and allow students to ask questions. Then, call a few students at a time to do this activity if possible to allow it to be more individualized. Using a jar (preferably plastic), create a tornado using water, vinegar, food coloring, and dish soap. Model for the students how to swirl your wrist to create the funnel until it twists and turns into a tornado.
This is a simple weather activity that is just super fun for children to get moving. This does not have to coincide with a weather-related unit, but you can ask the students if they’ve ever gone puddle jumping before and ask if it was fun for them.
Have precut “puddles” made from blue construction paper, and a pair of rainboots (slightly bigger than their size), and have the kids jump with both feet, one foot, etc. to practice various gross motor skills.
There are many fun ways to mix this up, and it will still be fun. For example, you could create a game where they roll a die and jump that number of puddles or place letters on each puddle and ask students to shout out the letter when they hop.
Pro Tip: Laminate the “puddles” so that they don’t tear with all of the jumping.
When learning about different types of clouds, this is a fun activity to incorporate into your lessons. Using clear (sticky) contact paper works best, but wax paper works fine as well.
Encourage students to choose different shades of blue and white tissue paper. I like to have them rip into little pieces themselves to work on their fine motor skills, but you can have precut squares provided as well. Having the students create their own cloud shape and then fill it in with white tissue is a fun exercise. Then having them decide how many rain droplets they want to have coming out of the cloud also gives them ownership of the activity.
To make this a suncatcher, they should try to not layer the tissue too much to allow for light to get through. If you don’t have the adhesive contact paper, you can have kids use a glue stick to glue tissue paper onto the wax paper. Hang these in your classroom window to brighten it up and see everyone’s creations.
Pro Tip: use this activity for ANY shape that kids want to try, not just clouds. It can be any shape they want – animals, sports gear, etc.
After going on a nature walk with your students (preferably on a partially cloudy day), ask the students to try to find shapes in the clouds. Do they see any squares? Any circles? What other shapes do they see?
Then, when you go back inside, have blue construction paper prepared with shapes drawn on it big enough for young children to work with. Give the students cotton balls to pull apart, and encourage them to glue the cotton to the shapes to create their own clouds.
To extend the activity even further, show the students that some clouds are fluffy (cumulonimbus), while others have more wispy, straight strands (stratus), and challenge them to manipulate the cotton to be fluffy or wispy. Even though students are young, exposing them to the names of clouds is a great introduction!
All of these preschool weather activities can be done throughout the year, of course, but they also prove to be great compliments to studying weather in-depth.These hands-on activities will bring these topics to life and create even more alacrity for our young learners!
For even more activities to try, check out HiMama’s activities database!