Help your child learn where rain comes from.
“It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring ..." Although the magic of a rainy day may have been lost to you years ago, your toddler is just beginning to explore the mystery of nature and its ways. A toddler may not fully grasp a scientific explanation of precipitation, but she will giggle with glee over her chance to splash in a puddle. Using a little whimsy and imagination will help your child learn about clouds and raindrops. So, the next time you are stuck at home on a rainy afternoon, recognize the moment — and the weather — as a teaching opportunity.
1Explain cloud formation and precipitation. The sun warms water in oceans, lakes and rivers. The warmth causes water to float up in little droplets and come together in clouds in the sky. When enough moisture accumulates in the clouds, drops of rain fall back down to earth. Technical explanations may not always go over well with young children, so keep it as simple as possible.
2Create a concrete example of condensation by placing a wet folded paper towel in a clear, glass jar and cover it with a lid. Place the jar next to a sunny window and wait a few hours. Your toddler will be amazed to see little droplets clinging to the top and sides of the jar.
3Read picture books about rain. Read the words and pay close attention to the pictures. Tell your little one to point to the drops of rain as you read.
4Delight your little one with a rain dance. Place music with a varying tempo and drum beats that mimic rain sounds. Take blue scarves or material and dance to the music. Encourage your toddler to act the part of a magical raindrop. Let go of your adult world for a few minutes and join the dance.
5Make a homemade rainmaker. Use the tip of a knife or large sewing needle to punch holes in a random pattern in the bottom of an empty plastic milk jug. Fill the jug with water from outside or in the bathtub and start the rain. Your toddler can play under the rain drops or she can hold the jug to “rain” on the plants in your backyard.
6Go on a rain walk. Wait for a rainy day to put on your raincoat and galoshes. Take your toddler on an outdoor, splashy adventure. Ask your little rain baby what the rain smells like, sounds like, looks like, feels like, and even how it tastes. Find a few puddles and splash away.
Things You'll Need
- Paper towel
- Clear jar
- Blue scarves or material
- Knife or large sewing needle
- Plastic milk jug
- Rain slicker and boots