4 rainy day activities to teach kids about weather

Make it rain

It’s raining, it’s pouring… but indoors it isn’t boring.

The weather outside may be frightful, but these indoor activities are simply delightful. From making rainbows to creating a storm in a (kind of) teacup, these weather-based games will keep kids from climbing the walls when they’re stuck inside. And as a bonus, they’ll also learn some science!

1. Create rain clouds in a jar

The make-y bit: Fill a glass jar up with water, leaving a little gap at the top. Squirt shaving cream on top to form your rain clouds. Now using a dropper, carefully drop food colouring on top of your clouds. Watch as the clouds fill up with colour, and then start to magically rain!

The science-y bit: Use this activity to explain to kids how rain clouds form. Tiny droplets of water rise up with warm air, to form clouds that sit above us in the sky. When these clouds get too heavy, the water droplets fall from the clouds as rain.

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2. Learn about wind with a dizzy snake

The make-y bit: Download and print your snake. Cut it out so you have a spiral shape. Poke a hole through the top, thread through some string, and tie it to a hanger. Hang your snake over something hot (like a desk lamp). Now wait… and watch as your snake starts to magically spin and get dizzy!

The science-y bit: Use this activity to explain how wind is formed. Changes in temperature cause movement of air, and this causes wind. Warm air has low air pressure, and so naturally rises upwards. When it does, the cool air (which has higher air pressure) takes its place.

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3. Teach kids the colours of the rainbow with a sock bubble blower

The make-y bit: Cut off the bottom of a water bottle, and fit a sock over the end. Fix it with a rubber band or tape. Mix some water and washing up liquid in a shallow bowl, and add a few drops of food colouring in each colour of the rainbow. Carefully dip your sock in the bowl, and gently blow to create a bubble rainbow! SAFETY KLAXON: tell little ones not to suck in the air. A mouthful of bubbles is no fun.

The science-y bit: As you add food colouring to the bowl, say each colour of the rainbow out loud together. Ask them if they can see the all these colours in just one bubble. Explain that bubbles are like tiny prisms, and when sunlight hits the surface of a bubble it splits into different colours. Just like when sunlight shines through raindrops. *Brainmelt*

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4. Draw cloud animals

The make-y bit: You need a nice cloudy day for this one. Get some tracing paper and put it on a window. Trace the outline of a fun-shaped cloud you can spot. Now get your crayons out on a table, and see if you can turn your cloud into an animal!

The science-y bit: Clouds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The big puffy ones are called Cumulus. The ones that hang low like a blanket are called Stratus. And the thin wispy ones are called Cirrus. How many of each can you spot out the window?

Show your child they can be the universe’s Greatest Living Scientist

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