Capturing the March Wind!
- Collect empty paper towel tubes
- Provide paint and brushes, glue, staplers, tissue paper or crepe paper for streamers. The skills of the children will determine how much pre-preparation needs to be done (e.g., cutting the streamers; helping with stapling—the more independent the better!)
- Have the children paint the tubes. When the paint has dried, they can choose the streamer colors they want and staple them together and then glue or staple them to their tube.
- Take the tubes outdoors. What makes the streamers stream? How much? What’s the difference in what the streamers do in a breeze; when it’s really windy? Chart the difference.
- Tape streamers to a fence, porch rail, tree branch. Watch what happens as the wind blows or dies down. Does that look different depending on where the streamers are placed?
- What happens if the tubes and streamers get wet? Do they still stream? Why not? What happens to the colors?
The long-term weather report is saying we may not have as much spring rain as we’re used to. In case you miss it here’s a way to create it and help children begin to understand what makes rain and clouds.
- Put 1/2 cup of water in a sandwich size plastic bag (the locking kind, not the fold-over kind.)
- Tell children it’s a pretend puddle that will help them to find out where water goes and how rain happens.
- Hang the bag in a window in the sunlight with some tape.
- After a few hours, look on the sides of the bag for condensation. Tell the children that those drops are like the clouds in the sky—they are made of drops of water.
- Hold some ice against the top of the bag. More water should condense and then it will begin to drop from the top of the bag—like rain! Why? Heat evaporates water. It rises and forms ‘puddles’ of condensation in the sky (clouds.) As it rises it cools. When the right pressure system comes along it falls like rain, sleet, snow—depending on the temperature in the clouds.
Some books to look at:
- Tomie de Paola’s The Cloud Book
- Charles Shaw’s It Looked Like Spilt Milk
- Igloo Books Little Raindrop
- Valerie Bessette’s Raindrops ARE Rainbows
This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.