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With these activities preschool children experiment with the forces
of wind and rain during the months of March and April.
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Spring Weather - Thunderstorms
During this two part weather activity plan from Ja'Meda R. young children use listening, fine motor, verbal and creative art skills.

Materials: Book: Thundercake by Patricia Polacco and an audio recording of a 
thunderstorm. Art materials: gray, black and white paint, table top easels, paintbrushes and paper.

Description: Discuss rainy spring weather with the children and tell them that 
in spring we often have thunderstorms.  Talk to the children about lightning and 
the sound of thunder.  Play the thunderstorm recording then read the book 
Thundercake.  Encourage the children to stomp their feet every time thunder is 
mentioned in the story.

Extend the activity by providing gray, black and white paint at the easels.  Let the 
children listen to the audio recording of the thunderstorm as they paint. Once the children are done, ask them to share how they felt as they listened to the thunderstorm and created one of their own.

weather songWeather Watcher Song
 Rowena E. offers this song for your class to use each day to record the weather.

Materials: Cards with pictures of different types of weather on them for example; sunny, windy, rainy, stormy, etc.

Description: Each day as part of our morning routine, we have a Weather Watcher
who decides what the weather is for the day.  Our weather watcher needs to keep 
an eye on the weather all day and can change our chart if needs be.  The children sing this song as the Weather Watcher looks out of the window to decide what the weather is like.

 Weather Watcher
(Tune:  Frere Jacques)
 Weather Watcher, Weather Watcher
 What do you see?
 What do you see?
 Tell us what the weather's like
 Tell us what the weather's like
 Won't you please
 Won't you please.
science activityScience: Windy Days
 Encourage thinking skills and receptive-expressive language with this science activity by Merrie W which demonstrates that wind is moving air.

 Materials: Straws, sheets of paper and a electric fan.

 It's difficult for children to grasp the concept of air.  After all,  it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted.  However, the effects of air can be seen.  Remind the children that air is real.  Ask each child to hold up one hand and  blow on it.  "You can't see the air that you blew, yet you can feel it." 

With a  straw, blow on a sheet of paper so that it moves.  Explain that wind is moving 
 air.  Turn on a fan and let the children feel the moving air.  Lay sheets of  paper in front of the fan and let the children watch them blow.

 "When wind is  gentle, it can help us by keeping us cool, drying clothes hung outside, flying kits, sailing boats  and carrying bubbles. When wind is strong, it can be harmful. Windstorms can blow limbs and nests from trees.  Strong winds can become tornadoes, hurricanes or typhoons.  Moving air, wind, can be harmful and helpful."

Invite children to share their thoughts.  Allow them to explore with the straws  and paper.  Carefully supervise all children while the fan is on.  Caution children to keep their hands to themselves.

weather songSing a Song of Weather
Sing this song that Park S. suggests according to the weather of the day, for example; rainy, windy, sunny or snowy.

 How's the weather?
 (Tune:  Frere Jacques / Are You Sleeping?)
 How's the weather?
 How's the weather?
 Can you tell? can you tell?
 It is rainy. It is rainy.
 Rainy, rainy, rainy.
Windy Weather Fun
Preschool children have fun outside on a windy day with this activity by Park S.

Materials: Balloons, glue and paper streamers.

1. Go out side, look around in the air.
2. Ask to children, "Can you see the wind?"
3. Give the streamers and glue on the balloons.
4. Run with balloons.
5. Which way do they go?

windy craft activity Necktie Windsock
Susan K. offers this preschool craft activity saying, "When introducing Springtime, we talk about windy weather, especially the March wind. What can the wind do? Push leaves around and break dead branches off trees, and blow your hair all around. The windsock will show us how strong the wind is blowing on a given day."

1.   Ten old neckties. Have parents start donating old neckties in September or go to     a thrift shop and buy them for 25 cents a piece.
2.  Various trims and rickrack's that can be purchased from a sewing store.
3.  12 x 18 inch piece of construction paper.
4.  Yarn, white glue, scissors and a stapler.

1.   Cut the ten neckties in half across the center of each tie. You will be using the thinner half of each tie for this project.

2.   Fold 4 inches of the construction paper over lengthwise to make a strip. Trim off the extra paper along the bottom of the strip.

3.  Open the folded strip and rub glue all over the inside of the paper. Arrange the cut ends of the ten neckties face down and side by side along the edge of the folded paper. You will not have enough ties to go to the end of the strip. Fold the top of the gluey paper over the tie ends to hold them in place.

4.  Cut pieces of trim and rickrack to fit round the paper ring. Use glue to hold them in place. Or decorate the paper strip any way you want, with markers, glitter, etc.

5.  Carefully wrap the strip of paper around itself until you have a continuous circle of ties. Staple the strip to hold it in place. Let the glue dry.

6.   Cut three 24 inch pieces of yarn to use for hangers. String the yarn pieces under the paper ring in three different places, then tie the ends together at the top. Hang your wind sock outside for the wind to play with, but don't let it get wet!!

Comments: This project is fun to do! The children like using Dad's old ties. They can glue the ties on, decorate the paper strip, and enjoy watching their windsock dance in the wind.

Gayle's Note: If you try this project and can take a digital picture, please send it to me and I'll try to include it.

windy craft activityMarch "In Like a Lion"
Discuss the change in the weather during the month of March as young children use fine motor skills creating their lion masks with this craft activity from Amy A.

 Materials: 1 divided paper plate per child,  1 large black pom-pom per child,
 brown yarn and tan paint.

Description: Allow the children to paint a divided paper plates while they are upside down. Glue a  black pom-pom on for the nose and cut out holes for the eyes. Glue strands of yarn all around the plate to form the lion's mane.  Finally, tie larger pieces of yarn to each side so that the mask can be worn.

 Comments: Children love wearing the masks and acting like a lion.  Great 
 comparisons to their roars and the cold wind blowing outside have been made!!!

kite craft Paper Plate Kites
Kuppal N. offers this idea for creating simple kites and promoting fine motor skills.

 Materials: Paper plates, scotch tape, streamers and string or yarn.

 Description: Cut the streamers and ask the children to stick them onto the plate using the scotch tape. Next, make three holes in the plate. Using the string or yarn connect the three holes and tie in a knot, with a length of string hanging.

kite craft Kites
Emma S. suggests this kite craft activity saying that it's, "A Good activity for a rainy day and also gives children and teachers an opportunity to talk about the wind." 

Materials: Colored paper, glue, tissue paper, crayons, markers, paint, string and ribbon

Description: Take the colored paper and cut into kite shapes (older children may  be able to do this themselves). Then have the children decorate them with tissue paper torn up, crayons, paints, etc.  Next, take the string and tape it to the  back of the kite and tie the ribbons onto it to make the kite's tail.  These look lovely hung on a wall.

kite craftPaper Bag Kite
Paul B. suggests this easy kite making activity that encourages young children to explore their creative abilities.

 Materials: Paper bag, paint & things to decorate it with, strips of paper or 
 streamers, glue, string and tape.

Description: Ask the children to decorate the paper bag any way they like.  Glue streamers onto the end of the paper bag that is closed.  Put a hole in the corners of the open end and attach two pieces of string on either side of the bag to make handles. It's now time for the children to take their kites outside and experience the kites flying in the wind.

kite craftGrocery Bag Kites
Children use observation skills and discover cause and effect relationships during this activity from Susie M.

Materials: Plastic grocery bags, 81/2" x 11" paper of various colors, colored markers or paint with brushes, streamer pieces cut into lengths of about 18", stapler and string.

Description: The children will first decorate their colored paper using colored markers or paint. Then children staple their picture onto one side of the bag and staple streamers along the bottom. The teacher can tie string to the two handles in a long loop for the children to hold.  The kites are now ready to catch some wind by the child running with it in tow or, standing on a high climber outside. The children can't ever get enough of this activity!

kite makingWallpaper Kite Making 
Marilyn M. suggests using out-of-date wallpaper books available from decorating stores to promote cutting skills and kite making.

 Materials: Wallpaper books, construction paper, child safety scissors and yarn.

Description: We like to use old wallpaper books to make kites for a spring activity.  The kite shape is traced on the back of colorful sheets of wallpaper samples.  The children cut the shape out and we give them yarn lengths for the string and the tail of the kite.  We also give them "bows" made of construction paper to glue to the tail.  These kites can be either glued to construction paper or used as miniature kites to trail behind the children as they run outdoors. 

Comment: The wallpaper could also be used to make flowers for spring activities or any number of other craft projects.

  April Showers
Michelle introduces the rainy weather of the month of April with these 2  easy art  activities that fosters fine motor control.

Umbrella Art
Cut out an umbrella shape and have children decorate it with paint, glitter, fabric, crayons, etc.

Cotton Ball Clouds
Make gray cloud shapes from construction paper. Have the children glue on cotton  balls.

Rainy Day Activity
Here's a craft idea from Rhonda M. that encourages youngsters to use their fine motor skills.

Materials: Card stock paper, scissors, metal paper fasteners and markers, crayons 
or stickers to decorate and a craft or popsicle sticks.

Description: Cut out (or let the children cut out) an umbrella pattern about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide (closed) with handle.  Cut out 2 additional triangle shapes, 7 inches long and about 3 or 4 inches wide. A small water flipper is good to trace for the shapes because these will be the umbrella sections.  Attach these shapes behind the main umbrella section with a metal paper fastener.

Let the children color the handle black. You can glue a craft stick to the back of the handle to make it stronger.  Let the children color rain drops onto the umbrella sections.  I found stickers that looked like raindrops at a teacher's store. Using stickers allows the children to use their fine motor grasp.

Comments: I teach 2, 3, and 4 year old children in a variety of classes, one day a week at the YMCA.  My classes are short, 45 minutes to 1½ hours, so we need quick craft activities that the kids can take with them.

science activity Science: The Water Cycle
 Introduce preschool children to concept of the water cycle with this science project from Pam.

Materials: Fish tank, compost, clay, doll's clothes, small plants, cardboard, glue, scissors and crayons .

Description: The concept of the water cycle can be introduced first with a  suitable poster. Then create a miniature garden, along the lines of bottle gardens, with the
fish tank, the compost and a miniature washing line with doll's  clothes on it.  I also included an unfired clay bowl to represent a pond.

Sprinkle the garden with water from a watering can, put a glass lid on top and place in the sun. The children will look at this tank a lot wondering what is going to happen. To make it more interesting put some snails or worms in the compost.

To record the 'work' the children have 3 pictures to color:
1.   The sun drying puddles and washing in the garden
2.   The water vapor turning into clouds
3.   The rain falling again.

Paste the 3 pictures to a card and make a border with appropriate motifs (we did umbrellas and raindrops).  Form the cardboard into a cylinder and hang up from a line.
A good book to use for this age group is The Drop Goes Plop by M.Y. Bees.

Comments: We live in Western Australia where our focus is on wet and windy. If you have enough transparent plastic containers the children can make individual 'worlds' 
to illustrate evaporation and condensation.

Spring Poem
Janice S. offers this weather poem.

Some Days Seem Like Winter
Some are nice and warm.
Rainy days and windy days,
Maybe it will storm.
Warm or cold or wet or dry,
What will the weather be?

 Rainstorms rain cloud
Amy A. offers this circle time activity saying, "My 2 ½  year old class absolutely loves it! It's great for listening skills, following directions, and working on motor skills."

Description: I always start this activity by saying, do you hear what I hear 
outside, it sounds like it is sprinkling. At that point, you teach the children to rub their hands together.

Then you say, "I think it's starting to rain outside, I can hear some drops hitting the puddles." Then they switch from rubbing their hands to clapping. "It sounds like the rain is coming down harder and faster."  They clap faster and louder.  "Oh no! What's coming?"

A THUNDERSTORM!"  Children stomp their feet and / or hit their hands on the table. It really sounds like a thunderstorm.  I usually say "Oooooooo, I'm scared, 
are you scared?" As they keep the thunderstorm going I say, "It's a good thing it's starting to let up." The children start clapping again, "Listen to the drops hitting the puddles. They are getting softer."  The claps get softer and softer, "You can barely hear them, it's only sprinkling."  All the children usually shout, "The sun comes out!" 
They make the sun by putting their arms above their heads.

Comments: This is a great way for kids to learn about the sounds of a thunderstorm and discuss about being scared.  If the kids are quiet when they  participate, it sounds just like a rainstorm, and they love it. Once you start, it's hard to stop. They keep asking to do it again and again and again. 

 Rain Cloud Finger Painting rain cloud
Jennifer shares this rainy, sensory preschool activity.

 Materials: Paper, white and black paint and combs or hair rollers.

Description: Put a dab of white finger paint on one corner of a piece of paper and a dab of black on the other. Have children use their hands and fingers to make rain clouds. Use combs or hair rollers to make rain.

 Raindrop Puppets
Youngsters use eye hand coordination and fine motor skills during this Spring season
creative activity from Donna M.

Materials: Raindrop puppet pattern, light blue construction paper, markers, black construction paper for arms and legs,

Description: Provide the youngsters with a Raindrop Puppet by giving them a raindrop pattern to cut out, or teachers can cut them out for younger children. The children
draw on eyes, nose, mouth and glue arms and legs onto their raindrop. I usually hang them from my ceiling.

We also make apple puppets for the Fall season the same way. For younger children, I give the goggley eyes for them to glue on and I draw on a mouth.

Comments: I ask the children glue on the arms, legs and eyes where ever they like. 

Weather SongWeather Song & Activity
This song from Regina C. teaches weather words, enhances observational skills and also verbal skills as the child tells the weather of the day.

Weather Song
(Tune: Down by the Station)
Look out the window and see if it's raining.
See if there are clouds or if there is some snow.
Is the sun shining or is the wind blowing?
Sun, Rain, Wind, Snow, Weather song.
Sun, Rain, Wind, Snow, Weather Song.
 Description: During group time one child is chosen or is on the helper board as 
 the meteorologist. At weather time, the child goes to the window as the group 
 sings the song.  The teacher or group says, "Mr. / Miss Meteorologist (child's name)
 what is the weather today?"  If the child has difficulty verbalizing the weather 
 (some tell what they see happening on the playground or in the area) ask questions i.e. 
  • "What are the flags / trees doing?
  • What does that mean, What is making them move?
  • What do you see in the sky?
  • Do you think it is hot, warm or cold outside?
 I never correct the child because no meteorologist is always right!! 
 I then thank Mr. or Miss Meteorologist and instruct them to join us again.

Daily Weather Report
Stephanie J. teaches weather concepts to youngsters with this daily activity.

 Materials: Teacher made or store bought weather chart or pictures showing scenes of 
 different kinds of weather.

Description: Each morning at circle time we discuss today's weather.  Our class helper gets to be the Weather Person.  He or she goes over to the window to check the weather and we sing this song:

Weather Song What's the Weather?
(Tune:  Oh My Darling Clementine)
What's the weather?  What's the weather?
What's the weather like today?
What's the weather?  What's the weather?
Can the (insert class name) go out to play?
Then the child comes back to the group and gives the Weather Report.  We try 
to encourage the children to use descriptive words such as windy, cloudy, rainy, cold, cool, foggy, snowy, etc.  Then the child puts the proper symbols up on the weather chart.

Weather Bear Book
Children recognize the appropriate clothing for different weather conditions while creating this book from Renee.

 Materials: A book made from construction paper.  Each paper will have a picture 
 of a teddy bear on it and will represent a different weather condition.

 Description: Title of book, A Weather Bear Book.
 Page #1.  This is what weather bear wears on a sunny day.
 Page #2- This is what weather bear wears on a rainy day. 
 Page #3- This is what weather bear wears on a snowy day.
 Page #4- Today is a  ______ day.  This is what I wore to school. 

 The children color clothes on to the bear to show what they would wear for that 
 type of day.  You can also sing songs to go along with each type of day. 



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