Graph the temperature where you live!
Have you ever heard of a temperature blanket? It’s a neat way to graph the average temperature every day for a whole year and looks cool when displayed too! This activity is a great way to introduce graphing, temperatures and the term “averages” to young children, plus it looks super cool once it’s filled to the top!
📊Look at this graph! If your child is showing a lot of interest in this activity, consider doing this with other daily changes such as weather (sunny days, cloudy days, etc.) over the course of a week or month. Check out our activity HERE for inspiration!
🚂 Stay on track! It might be hard for younger children to visualize what the finished product will look like after a period of time, so show them some inspiration online to keep them motivated to complete their graph and add a scoop of rice every day!
🌎 Where in the world? Depending where you live, the temperature may not fluctuate as much. Consider completing this activity over the course of a year instead or create a small temperature range (1-2 degrees versus 5 degree range).
For this activity you will need:
Thin clear jar or container
2-3 cups rice
Small sealable containers or bags
Free temperature graph printable
Collecting and organizing information
Describing and comparing data on graphs and in surveys
Color your rice or sand using food coloring and alcohol. You can do this by separating your rice/sand into several small bags and adding a couple drops of food coloring and a couple drops of rubbing alcohol into each bag. You’ll want to have a gradient of colors for this, so several shades of red, orange, yellow, etc. Shake the bags of rice/sand to mix and coat all of the grains of rice/sand and let it dry overnight
Once dry, dish out the rice/sand into small bowls to store them in over the course of this activity.
Print out our free printable and record the temperature in your area for a specific length of time (week, month etc).
Designate a color of rice/sand for each temperature/temperature range based on how many rice colors you have available.
Pour a specified amount of rice/sand into your container based on your temperature graph recorded. For example one spoonful of rice/sand per day. Eventually, a gradient of color will start to emerge filling up your container!
After you are done filling up your bottle of sand you will see a representation of weather patterns and color changes for your particular area!
⬆️ For older preschoolers: Explore how a thermometer works and how to use it!
⬇️ For younger toddlers: Younger toddlers may have more fun mixing the rice/sand than looking at numbers and recording it. Lean into this and explore color mixing with the different colors instead!
How many days was the temperature below/above ___?
Do you notice any patterns with our rice/sand?
Do you notice any weird temperature changes with our rice/sand?
What would our container look like if we continued to fill it up every day for a longer period of time?
What is your favorite temperature/color?