Parents' Corner

Teaching Preschoolers Science Through Fun Weather Observations

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

science-project.gifUnderstanding the concepts of science can be tricky for young children. To help prepare your child for when he or she needs to study science in school, use something that surrounds us every single day: the weather!

A PBS article, Using Weather to Teach Early Science Lessons, shares plenty of age-appropriate fun ways to introduce basic science, including just observing the weather together and talking about what you see. Is it getting warmer out? Colder? Is it windier now than it was this morning? What does the sky look like when a rainstorm is coming?

One expert notes that her own children “respond well to colors and visual, tangible examples of science at work … provided by each of the four seasons. A walk through the leaves on a fall day opens the discussion of why they change color. How about that next snowstorm — is it fluffy and perfect for sledding, or dense and good for making a snowman?”

You can help your child begin a weather journal. If he or she is at a pre-writing stage, your child can create an image for each of these four weather conditions — sunny, rainy, snowy and windy — and then draw the appropriate picture on the calendar each day. You can also take an outdoor photograph of your child on the first day of each month. Then, spread out an entire year’s photo collection and let your child observe how clothing changes as the seasons do. When was your child wearing a coat? Carrying an umbrella? In a bathing suit?

PBS also offers weather-related resources where your preschooler can further explore topics. Activities include:

Weather-Related Books for Preschoolers

There are numerous books to read with your child about weather. You can ask librarians and teachers for their recommendations, and here are three to consider:

  • Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm by Jamie Harper (recommended for children ages 4-8): It’s time for Miss Mingo’s class to take a field trip, a hike up High Hill where the weather station is located. Students in Miss Mingo’s class are each from different animal species and each one reacts differently to weather changes that day. “Sprinkled with fascinating facts about weather and animal habits, this charming, one-of-a-kind class trip is sure to bring sunny smiles.”
  • I Am a Leaf by Jean Marzollo (recommended for children ages 4-8): This book shares information about creatures that live in trees, as well as how trees change by the season. It is an easy reader book written by an award-winning children’s author, with bright illustrations that will likely capture your child’s attention.
  • The Cloud Book by Tomie De Paola (recommended for children ages 5-8): If you find that your child is developing a real interest in weather, he or she might enjoy learning that there are many different types of clouds. This book explores the 10 most common, along with weather myths and popular sayings.

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care, including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.

Topics: Preschool

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