We just started our unit on weather and this week we learned about clouds. Here’s a peek at what all we did. I hope these cloud activities for kids will be a helpful resource to you as you teach about weather!
Let’s Read-and-Find-Out Science books are great beginning science books. This book explains how clouds are formed and the different types of clouds. It also includes an experiment in the back for how to make a cloud in a jar.
Beloved children’s author, Tomie de Paola’s fun book about clouds covers a lot of ground. It describes the different types of clouds, along with stories and myths about them.
A nice introduction to clouds for students in PreK to first grade. Lots of real pictures paired with simple text on each page make this a great book for young learners.
We also had a few books about weather in general that had information about clouds in them that we read. A great one is National Geographic Kids: Everything Weather. My oldest has been reading a book from our local library called “Weather and Climate” by John Bassett. (I can’t find it on Amazon.) It’s a fantastic weather resource for older elementary students.
This video explains how clouds form, why clouds appear white, and all about the different types of clouds. I like that it tells what each cloud name means. Did you know that cumulus in Latin means “heap”? Me either!
SciShow for Kids explains what clouds are made of and a little about the types of clouds in this three-and-a-half minute video.
This was actually a question that my daughter had: How do clouds stay up in the air? Why don’t they just fall down? This six-and-a-half minute video does a terrific job explaining the answer, along with some other interesting facts about clouds.
After learning about how clouds are made, we focused on learning about the different types of clouds. The three main types of clouds are cumulus, stratus, and cirrus. All other clouds are some form or combination of these three types. We also talked a lot about cumulonimbus clouds because those are fascinating!
We decided to display our new knowledge about cloud types in an art project.
First, we folded a piece of heavy cardstock in half lengthwise. We used a pencil to lightly draw lines across one side to divide it into four equal sections.
Using a white crayon, we drew an example of a cloud type in each section. For the cumulonimbus cloud, we used gray and white crayons.
Next, we painted over the entire paper with blue watercolor paint to reveal the clouds we drew. A little watercolor goes a long way here. It’s best to water down the paint quite a bit. We also used a napkin to wipe off the excess paint on the crayon before it dried.
We let out paper dry and then we glued another piece of blank cardstock on the back. We folded the papers in half lengthwise again, and cut along our pencil lines we had drawn earlier to create four flaps.
Under each flap, we wrote information about the cloud type.
“Cirrus means in Latin “curls of hair”. They bring good weather and they are ice crystals.”
We tried both of these experiments to make a cloud.
This one was the easiest and turned out the best! My kids were completely mesmerized and did it three different times. It really helped them understand how clouds are made.
We had so-so results with this one. We tried at least eight times and never got it to work as good as he does in the video. I’m guessing it had something to do with our pump and/or opening that we couldn’t get sealed good enough. It looks really cool in the video, though, and is worth a try!
We also spent time observing the clouds each day. We would name each cloud type we saw. They came to see that weather and clouds are constantly changing; We might have stratus clouds in the morning, but cumulus clouds in the afternoon!
We read It Looked Like Spilt Milk and made our own cloud pictures.
I had them draw a shape of an object on a white piece of cardstock. Then, they tore out the shape with their fingers to make it resemble how the shapes looked in the book. We took turns guessing what each cloud picture was and they LOVED it!
Now that they’ve learned about cloud types and how they form, next week we’re moving on to everything that falls from them: precipitation!
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