Weather crafts are a wonderful way for children to try out many arts and crafts activities. It’s an effective method of raising their awareness of the world around them, their environment and their observation skills. By looking at the weather and becoming fully aware of the changes around them, children will begin to appreciate natural cycles and changing seasons.
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Creating a weather chart is particularly useful for making weather observations on a daily basis. Keep the chart near a door or window and get youngsters to check the weather each day, this is much more effective when the chart is their own handiwork.
Start by using a large sheet of paper as the base for the chart. In large letters label the chart, ‘Today the Weather is…..’ Draw a large square below this, which is the area in which the child will fix the relevant weather for each day.
You need to make the weather indicators. Get your child to make a list of all the different types of weather they would like to include on their chart. Here are some ideas and how you can represent them:
- Sun – cover a small disc of card with orange crêpe paper and edge the sun with a small fringe of orange or yellow paper.
- Cloud – cover a cloud template with plenty of PVA glue and apply lots of fluffy cotton wool.
- Rain – cover a tear-drop shaped piece of card with silver foil.
- Cold – cover a strip of paper with patches of brightly coloured fabric and a fringe at either end, to represent a scarf.
The weather symbols are fixed to the chart with a small dab of blue tack which makes them interchangeable.
Make the Sun Shine
Children love sun-based arts and crafts. Even the earliest drawings of a child often depict a bright, spidery sun somewhere in their sky. An easy way to make a sun is by taking a plain paper plate and covering it with a collage of bright sunny colours or shiny materials. Finish the sun by adding a flaming fringe of sun rays cut from paper.
Alternatively get the young artists to draw around their hands and carefully cut them out. Now arrange the ‘handy’ cut outs around the edge of the sun to finish the masterpiece.
Homemade windsocks are lovely projects which encourage children to appreciate the effects of the weather. They make unusual garden decorations throughout the warmer months and especially for garden parties.
Start by choosing a double open-ended cylinder. This could be a sturdy cardboard roll, empty crisp tube or a large paper cup with the bottom removed. Children can really go to town decorating the ‘body’ of their wind sock. It could be a random mixture of painting or collage or the children might want to choose a specific theme. For example, perhaps the wind sock could have a funny face or it could be an animal like an octopus or spider.
Once the main part is finished, fix a fringe of streamers to the edge of the windsock in brightly coloured crepe paper. Finish the windsock by attaching a string loop at the opposite end so it can be fastened to a hook, fence of branch. Now all that’s left to do is to put the windsock in place and watch the wind flutter through its streamers.
Catching some rays
Making the most of the sun is possible even on the coldest days of the year with a homemade sun-catcher.
Cut some pretty pieces of coloured card into interesting geometric shapes and fix to the brightest sides of 2 CD or DVD disks. Now place the two duller sides of the disks together and attach by looping some bright cord through the central hole. Suspend the sun catcher from any spot near a bright and sunny window. The surface of the disks will catch the sun beautifully and will split the sunlight into a myriad of stunning little rainbows. Two lots of weather for their effort!
Weather crafts are a simple way to involve children in the natural environment and the changing world around them.