Make rain fun to teach your little one simple science concepts.
When the skies open and the rain pours down, your first inclination might not be singing in the rain when you’re cooped up inside with an energetic toddler. Teach your toddler all about rain to put a positive spin on rainy weather. Sure, she’s not ready for a long-winded explanation of weather and the water cycle, but you might be surprised how much she will understand about weather science. Once you finish with your lessons, head outdoors to splash in the rain puddles together.
1Read books about rain with your toddler to get her interested and show her the basics. Try “Here Comes the Rain” by Mary Murphy, “Red Rubber Boot Day” by Mary Lyn Ray or “Who Likes Rain?” by Wong Herbert Yee.
2Ask your little one where rain comes from to see what he knows. A common answer from your toddler would be “the sky.” Although this is a good start, tell him that rain comes from clouds in the sky to insert a little more precision in your toddler’s understanding.
3Tell your toddler that clouds hang in the sky because they’re actually teeny, tiny droplets of water, to explain clouds in a simple way. When enough of these water droplets get together, we see clouds in the sky.
4Show your toddler a dry cotton ball and then saturate it with water until it starts dripping. This demonstrates the principle that sometimes clouds get so heavy with water that they can’t keep holding onto it all. Tell your toddler that when a cloud gets this much water in it, the water gets heavy and starts dripping down from the cloud as rain.
5Fill a canning jar with about 2 to 3 inches of hot water and put a dessert plate over the top of the jar, to show your child a simple rain experiment. Wait about five minutes and then place four ice cubes in the center of the plate. Watch the results with your toddler. You should see condensation and water droplets quickly form as the warm air in the jar collides with the coldness of the ice cubes. Tell your little one that this is what happens when it rains.
6Put on your puddle boots and raincoats and go splash in rain puddles together. Combining the simple information, hands-on lessons and a fun activity will help teach your toddler about rain in an engaging way.
Things You'll Need
- Rain books
- Cotton ball
- Quart canning jar
- Hot water
- Dessert plate4 ice cubes
- Puddle boots