Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Weather Unit Activities

Wow are we having some crazy weather here!  I definitely picked a good time for us to do a weather unit.  Watch the video below to see all the projects we hope to accomplish for this unit. 

I have the video and this post up a bit differently than I have in the past.  I am going to list everything we are going to work on rather than do separate posts for shelf work, art, science, etc.  Hopefully this format will save me more time and be more beneficial to you guys!

First up is our shelf work for this unit.  On the shelf we have:

Rainbow Do-a-Dot Sheet
I have been enjoying adding these to our shelf, E seems to get better with this each week, even if it’s just for working on her fine motor skills.

Origami Windmill
This was just an origami windmill that I created to add visual interest to the shelf. E has fun twirling it around with her fingers.

Raindrop Counting
I cut out cloud shapes from card stock and wrote the numbers 1-10 on them.  Then I used blue glass vase filler for the ‘raindrops’.  The idea is to count out as many rain drops as there are listed on the cloud.  We are mostly working on numbers from 1-5.

Rainbow Puzzle
All of our printables this week are from here. This puzzle is broken up into 10 strips, that when put together in the correct order, form a rainbow.  This is still too difficult for E, but she likes handing me the pieces and seeing where they go.  It’s good practice to reinforce our counting.

Button Sun
Idea for this came from here. It’s basically just a circle cut out of orange felt with buttons sewn around the edges, then strips of ribbon with slits in them act as the ‘rays’ and the child practices buttoning the ribbons on and off.

Coloring Pages
I think coloring pages are going to be more a staple on our shelf from now on.  This is an easy activity for E to grab and do by herself.  I am trying to limit the amount of crayons, markers, etc that she can use with this though so it keeps this activity short and less messy.

Tracing Sheets
Of course we are still working on our prewriting. E still seems to enjoy these tracing pages, and the ‘which one is different’ is good focus work.

3-Part Cards
Printable can be found here. Some of these words are going to be difficult as they don’t really apply to where we live (such as hurricane) so we are focusing more on the weather words that do apply to our location.

Snowball Letter Matching
I didn’t want to do too many snow themed activities because I do plan on having a winter theme later this year, but of course snow is a very important weather concept (especially where we live) so I knew I had to include at least one activity.  E is practicing to learn her alphabet, but we are taking it slow, so I only used letters A B and C for this activity.  The idea is for her to place to correct ‘snowball’ on the target.

Our hands on activities for the week will include:

Cloud Sponge Painting
Printable from here.  Cut the clouds out to make a stencil.

We used a sponge and white paint on a small plate for our clouds.

E really enjoyed using the sponge this time around.  We had practiced with sponge painting a few months ago, and she was less than impressed.  But this time it worked way better than a paintbrush usually does.

Rain in a Jar
So I really wanted to do the ever popular ‘shaving cream rain experiment’ but I KNOW my two year old would just make a huge mess of the shaving cream.  So we will wait to do this project later when she has a bit more restraint.  Until then, this is a much cleaner version.  Put a sponge on top of a jar or clear cup, using a squeeze bottle (I’m using clean condiment squeeze bottles as I couldn’t find clear ones) and squeeze water of blue tinted water, onto the sponge.  When the sponge reaches is maximum absorbency, it will start to drip water into the jar.  (I used plain water, it would be easier to see with tinted water).

Rain in a Bottle
I dyed some rice blue with liquid watercolors. I really love the ombre effect it had, I wasn't too particular about making all the rice a single shade.  E has had fun just digging in and playing with the rice, but we did use it for our project too:

First, E has to fill a bottle with cotton balls (I recommend a large bottle like a Gatorade bottle if you think your child will want to do this activity multiple times because it’s easier to get the cotton balls out). Then, using a funnel and some measuring spoons, she fills the bottle with rice.  When she’s done, we put the cap on and turn it upside down to watch the rice ‘rain’ down from the ‘clouds’.  It also makes a fun rain stick/shaker.

Sun Printing
If it gets sunny enough this week (which I doubt at the moment), we are going to make a design out of pennies on construction paper (probably black, red or purple as they are the darkest colors we have) then let the paper sit out all day in the sun.  The sun will fade the color of the construction paper, but not the areas covered by the pennies, leaving behind the design at the end of the day.

Rain in a bag
Using a ziplock bag filled with a little water tinted blue, we are going to tape this to our deck door and watch the water go through the water cycle.

So there you have it, those are the ideas we will be using for our weather unit. 

Some other fun ideas to consider are:

Tornado in a jar (I don’t trust E with glass, but other children might be okay with this)

Painting with cooked spaghetti (our main book this unit is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)

Creating faux snow like this for sensory fun (we will be using this when we get to our winter unit in December or January).

Make a rain gauge out of a 2 liter bottle like this.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! You have so many great ideas! I love the rainbow and pom-pom matchup activity!