Cloud Watching

by Deb on September 17, 2010

Above the clouds

What a way to spend an afternoon, lying on the grass watching the clouds.  OK, the idyll doesn’t usually last that long around here, but the big girl has been identifying dragons and animals since she turned 4.  The little one knows that rain comes from the clouds and will often point out if the sky is cloudy and ask if it is going to rain, and they both talk about the change in light when clouds move over.  Even small babies will notice things like that if they have the opportunity.

That’s all a lot of fun, especially when you are walking somewhere, but how do you learn about clouds in a practical way?  Leaving the fan off when you have a shower will demonstrate dampness in the air, but it’s a long way from there to recognising the different types of clouds.  So this week I have a simple craft activity.  Craft is a great way of allowing kids to engage with things they can’t physically touch like microscopic objects, or in this case clouds.  By creating them, they learn about them more effectively than looking at something someone else has done.

Clouds - cottonwool on paper

wispy cloudsAccording to the Bureau of Meteorology there are 10 main cloud types, divided into 27 subtypes.  For little ones, we stuck with big fluffy clouds (cumulus and cumulonimbus) and thin wispy clouds (cirrus).  The background is just a big piece of butcher’s paper painted blue (with colours mixed to get the right shade)  and we used cotton wool balls for the clouds.

The three things we talked about while doing it:

  • There are two types of clouds.
  • The thin wispy clouds are up high and the big fluffy clouds are down low.fluffy clouds
  • Rain comes from the big fluffy clouds.

So they’ve been able to learn from a practical activity without being able to touch it directly.

Did you notice the chicken?  This will now go on our forest wall for the sky. This post is part of the Play Academy linkup at the Nurture Store.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica September 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Visiting from the Blog Hops! I love your site. I can’t wait to get to know you better. Stop by when you get the chance. I have a Meet Me Monday blog hop and I would love if you could join in.


Hear Mum Roar September 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I think it’s great that you broke it down to two types and went the craft route:) I wouldn’t know where to start, teaching about clouds!


cathy@nurturestore September 21, 2010 at 2:55 am

They are beautiful art works in their own right but a great way to add in some learning about clouds too. Thanks so much for linking up with the Play Academy – hope you might join us this week too.
cathy@nurturestore´s latest amazing offering ..Fine motor skillsMy Profile


Marita September 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

very cool.
We are going to be seeing lots of clouds on the plane tomorrow.
Wonder how the airline staff would cope with glue and cotton wool ball art work being made inflight 😀


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