In many parents of the country, spring weather can be somewhat erratic. With wild temperature swings, different forms of precipitation, and blizzards and tornadoes coming from the same storm system, it’s hard to predict. However, this erratic weather can provide for a lot of fun educational opportunities for you and your kids.
You don’t have to be a weather expert to get your kids thinking. Sometimes just wondering aloud, or making observations on the weather, is enough to intrigue your kids. Discovering the answers together can help your kids see how adults find answers to questions they don’t know. Sometimes the discoveries made will surprise you or or your kids.
For example, a couple weeks ago we got an unseasonably warm day in Minnesota. We went for a family bike ride to a park that is on a lake, and my girls wanted to wade in the water. They were surprised to find out how cold the water was, when it was nearly 80 degrees outside. We were able to have a good discussion about why lake water takes so long to warm up, even though water in puddles was pretty warm. They learned the basic ideas of specific heat that day.
Spring Weather Learning
There are a lot of other things you can do to encourage learning, depending on the level of your kids:
- Track temperatures over the course of a week to calculate the high and low from the week
- Compare temperatures between cities at different latitudes to see how distance from the equator affects temperature
- Compare temperatures between cities at the same latitude to see how other factors, like oceans or mountains, affect temperature
- Compare sunrise/sunset differences, or lengths of shadows at the same time each day, to see how the sun moves in the sky
Kids love to learn about the world around them. These are just a few ideas – there are dozens more that you can do.
Have a happy spring!