The crazy weather this week prompted some weather fun at our house today. When I used to teach my little students, we did weather graphing and weather watching every day. Kids loved to be little meteorologists. I love this great magnetic weather station idea.
Materials: metal cookie pan, magnetic letters, 4 paper plates, crayons, sharpies, long magnets, scissors, tape.
1. Get out your letter magnets and cookie sheet and let your child play for a bit while you do this first part.
2. On each paper plate, draw one of the types of weather: rainy, sunny, windy, cloudy. If you live in a snowy place, you could add that too. I wrote the word on each plate along with a simple picture.
3. Have your child color the paper plate pictures with crayons. We used blue for rainy, purple for windy, gray for cloudy, and yellow/orange for sunny.
4. Send your child off to play or sort magnets while you cut off the edge of the paper plate and attached each paper plate weather word to a magnet. We used tape to attached the paper plate to the long magnets.
5. Have your child help you find the letters in the word WEATHER. Spell out the word on your cookie sheet and then head to the nearest window to do some weather watching.
6. We sing our “weather boy (or girl), weather boy, what’s the weather?” song (to the tune of Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around) while the weather boy checks out the weather.
7. Have your child pick what the weather is and stick that magnet on the cookie sheet. Today it is cloudy and rainy here. Once we added the words to our weather station, we sang our Weather B-I-N-G-O song. (Lyrics below)
Weather Song (to the tune of BINGO)
There is weather in the sky and cloudy is its name-O,
C-L-O-U-D-Y, C-L-O-U-D-Y, C-L-O-U-D-Y,
and cloudy is its name-O. (repeat with clapping for C, then C-L, etc)
We repeated the song again for R-A-I-N-Y.
After we did some singing, we read this book that I’m using for a work project right now.
The little man LOVED it! We read the book about three times together and then we re-enacted parts of the story while we read it again and again and made our favorite sounds from the book.
The new vocabulary words that were introduced/reinforced in this activity were rainy, cloudy, sunny, and windy. Singing the weather songs and spelling the weather words (while pointing to the corresponding pictures/words) are great ways to reinforce the vocabulary words. Acting out stories is a great way to work on comprehension. In this story, the wind blows the trees, an owl hoots, the roof tiles flap, and an old man and woman can’t sleep. We imitated the sounds of the owl the first few times and as I read the third or fourth time, I would wait for my child to try and say the sounds or words without my help. We also practiced predicting what would happen next or we talked about what was happening. When we saw a picture of a tree falling down, my son would say, “what happened?” and I would repeat the question to him and he’d say, “tree crashed!” When we’d get closer to the end, I would ask him what is going to happen next. If he didn’t remember, I would prompt him…” we’re going to see an animal that says meow” and then he’d say “cat!” As we acted out the story and practiced it in sequence, his ability to remember details of the story improved... especially if we were jumping or making a loud sound like the characters in the book did. Asking wh questions (who, what, when, where, why) while reading books is a great way to foster language development. Modeling the answers for your child if they are too young to answer your questions is a great way to start practicing. If they are able to give one word answers, expand on their answers to make a two word phrase. For example, “what happened?” (correct answer: tree fell down), Child says “tree,” Adult says, “tree fell” or “tree fell down.”