Are you looking for a fun and educational activity for your kids to learn about the weather? Then, this hands-on clouds activity is the perfect solution. Not only will it engage them in learning but they’ll have an absolute blast doing so.
Plus, it’s easy enough that both teachers and parents can easily use it with their classrooms or homeschooling sessions without any hassle whatsoever!
Read on to find out more about why this activity is such an amazing way to help kids explore different aspects of meteorology – like making their own unique rainclouds that really move!
Cloud Activity for Preschoolers
Read this Book: Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer
Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer encourages readers of all ages to explore the clouds and the activities that can be done with them. This captivating book serves as a gateway to discovering the various types of clouds and how they influence weather.
Through its captivating text, stunning illustrations, and interactive cloud-gazing prompts, this one-of-a-kind work immerses readers in a realm of science and clouds that they are sure to enjoy.
With Bauer’s expert guidance, children will not only gain an understanding of clouds but also come away with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of weather.
Do these Experiments: How Do We Know that Air Exists?
Types of Clouds
The book I mentioned above is a perfect introduction to clouds. It taught us about the 3 types of clouds:
- Cirrus (wispy)
- Stratus (layered)
- Cumulus (puffy)
In the early 19th century, an Englishman named Luke Howard classified clouds using Latin based on their appearance. So, once you learn Latin names, you’ll easily be able to classify the clouds you see.
For example, cirrus is derived from “cirro”, which means curly or fibrous. Then we have stratus derived from “stratto” meaning layers or sheets. Finally, we have cumulus or “cumulo” meaning piled or heaped.
Youtube Video to Teach Kids about Clouds
How Do Clouds Form?
Clouds form by changing moisture from a gas to liquid through a process called convection.
According to Live Science, “As solar radiation heats the ground and the air immediately above it, the warm air becomes lighter and the flow of air carries this warm air upward.
As the air rises, the temperature decreases and so does the amount of water vapor that the air can hold. This vapor rapidly condenses and soon clouds — composed of countless billions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals — result.
These droplets are exceedingly small, averaging about 10 microns in diameter (a micron is one-millionth of a meter; ice crystals are much larger but less concentrated). Virtually all types of clouds and precipitation are due to rising air.”
Learning about Clouds Activity – Cotton Ball Clouds
Learning about Clouds Approach
- Review: We reviewed the part of the book referencing the three types of clouds.
- Language: I used language to describe the scientific terms and tried to find analogies in our concrete world (e.g. wispy = my hair, puffy = shaving cream when it comes out of the can, layered = what Seattle clouds look like most of the time but also like a layered cake or dip).
- Work: We worked together to break apart the cotton balls (or not) to make them into the shape we needed to match the type of cloud. The Cirrus was a great fine motor exercise as we tore and stretched the cotton balls. The Stratus and Cumulus were less challenging although my son had the brilliant idea of stacking the cotton balls to make them “really puffy, mama”. Good point.
- Then we squeezed glue onto the construction paper and applied the cotton balls to match the type of cloud.
Here is the final product. A fun visual for all of us. I did the 3-period lesson on these new words with my son.