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Cloud Science Activities

Last week I promised you more on the cloud activities we worked on while completing our Cloud Science class. The kids had so much fun bringing their clouds to life but what got them started on that road to excitement was the following:

I started off our cloud talk by asking the kids what kind of weather had they been seeing lately? Due to the rainy winters we get here the responses were Clouds and Rain. We moved on to what kind of clouds had they been seeing? Again their responses had to do with Rain...dark clouds, stormy clouds, Big Clouds...BabyBear even got so excited that she began acting out what thunder and lightening sounded like to her by standing up and jumping up and down on the floor. I then proceeded to ask them if they knew where the rain came from...of course I got the response I was expecting..."The Clouds". Informing them that they were correct we moved on to the question:

Do you know how clouds are formed?

We talked about how a cloud is a large collection of very tiny droplets of water or ice crystals. When the water in our lakes, oceans and rivers warms up in the light of the sun it turns into something we call "water vapor"...we call this step "EVAPORATION". To help them further understand what we were talking about I printed out the following coloring sheet for each of them to follow along with.

We continued to talk about what happens to the water once it has evaporated up in to the sky...how all the droplets continue to collect and collect...the clouds get bigger and bigger until they are so full that they cannot hold anymore and what happens then? ...it RAINS and the scientific word for rain is PRECIPITATION...they loved this word and used it very willingly over and over throughout our science class. To demonstrate  cloud I asked each of the kids to cup their hands and blow in to them. They informed me that they felt a warmth every time they blew in their hands. To show them what that warmth looked like I handed each of the children their own spoon. I told them to blow on to the back of the spoon and tell me what they noticed...a Cloud. At this point we talked about how that is exactly what happens with our cool water, the warmth of the sun and air when they work together to create clouds in the sky.

Side Note: BabyBear loves to learn the scientific word for anything that she can...in fact so much so that later on in the day she informed my sister while at JrBears hockey game that "Timbits" are actually donuts...not donut holes as we have been told because "Timbits" is actually the Scientific word for donuts...too funny.

Although there are many types of clouds that we see everyday I decided for the level we were working with to keep it simple and chose only 3 different clouds to talk about:

Cirrus: These see through, wispy clouds are found very high in the sky.

Stratus: These thick mid-level clouds cover our blue sky like a sheet would cover a bed.

Cumulus: These large puffy clouds are found closer to earth and can be seen especially well on  sunny days.

After getting the kids to repeat the name of each type of cloud we proceeded to the table to work on a cloud craft to further ingrain these new words into their minds. Read on if you would like to make your own....

Start by either printing out or drawing your own clouds...feel free to choose other cloud types if you like as well. If your kids are older you could also add a few more clouds to their repertoire too.

Once you have the clouds printed and cut out have your kids glue them in place on a blue sheet of paper. Pass out some cotton balls and have the kids glue them on to each cloud....works best if they pull them apart first in order to thin them out before gluing in place. While they are gluing their cotton you can continue to go over and ask questions about what they learned with you today...especially the BIG scientific words...little ones go crazy for those words around here.

Now Go Be Brave...and open wide the door of scientific exploration with your little Bears today.


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