Thursday, August 6, 2009

“Can children learn more about the weather by discussing it outdoors each day?”

Weather is an abstract concept when discussed from the confines of an indoor classroom. Outdoors weather can be a concrete learning experience that provides interaction with all of a child’s senses. A child can hear the wind, feel the wind, and see trees swaying in the wind. Air actually has a smell just before it rains, while rain affects all senses.

Items needed to create a great outdoor preschool weather station might include: thermometer, rain gauge, barometer, weather vane, and a place to record the weather at different times of the day. Each day at the end of outdoor play time, use the weather learning center as a transition point before going inside. Discuss the temperature, is it cloudy or sunny, will it rain based on the barometer, etc. The Adventurous Child web site has a great list of Early Learning Standards that pertain to the weather.

Please send me your ideas or questions on creating an outdoor classroom for preschool children.

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