Weather Experiments and Activities for Kids

Any way the wind blows, you'll have fun with a wind sock.
Any way the wind blows, you'll have fun with a wind sock.
TK

Every day when you step outside you experience the weather first hand -- but how much do you really know about it?

Weather experiments and activities for kids are fun ways to investigate the weather around us. Follow the links below to learn how to conduct weather experiments.

Wind Sock

Decorate your dwelling with a delightful wind sock.

Wind Gauge

From a breeze to a gust, measure the strength of the wind.

Gum Wrapper Thermometer

You won't believe what you can create with simple household materials.

Keep reading to find out how to put together your own windy ornament.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Wind Sock

A wind sock in action.
A wind sock in action.
TK

Make your own wind sock to hang on the porch, then watch it dance and swing as it catches the breeze.

What You'll Need:

  • One 26-ounce-size plastic coffee can lid
  • Blunt scissors
  • 2/3 yard of nylon material
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent markers
  • Needle and thread
  • Cord

Step 1: Have an adult cut the center out from the plastic coffee can lid to make a rim.

Step 2: Cut a piece of nylon 15 inches wide on one end, 17 inches wide on the other end, and 12 inches long. Decorate the fabric with permanent markers.

Step 3: Sew the 12-inch long ends together to form a tube. Fold the 17-inch wide end over the plastic rim. Sew a stitch around the rim to secure it.

Step 4: To add streamers, cut four 1 1/2 × 24-inch strips of nylon. Sew them to the 15-inch-wide end of the wind sock.

Step 5: To hang the wind sock, cut a 12-inch piece and a 15-inch piece of cord. Carefully cut two small holes in the fabric on opposite sides at the 17-inch-wide end. Tie on the cords, then tie the ends together. Hang it from the porch so that it is slightly angled to catch the wind.

You won't need a weatherman to tell you how hard the wind is blowing with the next weather experiment.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Wind Gauge

How hard is the wind blowing? Find out by making your own simple wind gauge.

What You'll Need:

  • String
  • Hole puncher
  • Safe scissors
  • Crepe paper
  • Newspaper
  • Light cloth
  • Heavy cloth

Using string, attach four strips cut to equal sizes -- one each of crepe paper, newspaper, light cloth, and heavy cloth -- to a branch or rain gutter. You'll discover:

  • When the wind blows softly, the crepe paper will react.
  • When it blows a little harder, the newspaper will flutter.
  • As the wind increases in strength, the light cloth will wave.
  • When the heavy cloth flaps, you'll know the wind is blowing hard!

The next experiment is an ingenious thermometer that you can make yourself.

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

Gum Wrapper Thermometer

With a foil gum wrapper and a few craft supplies you can make your own simple thermometer.

What You'll Need:

  • Foil gum wrapper (foil on one side and paper on the other)
  • Safe scissors
  • Spool (or similar item)
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Index cards
  • Pencil or pen
  • Store-bought thermometer

Foil gum wrappers are made of two different materials: metal foil and paper. Both react a little differently to heat. The metal foil actually expands a little bit more than the paper as it gets hot.

Because the different layers of the wrapper expand and contract at different rates, the wrapper will actually bend as the temperature changes.

Step 1: Cut a long pointer from a gum wrapper. Tape one end of the pointer to the side of a spool.

Step 2: Glue the spool on its end atop an index card. That's all there is to it!

But wait -- how do you know how hot or cold it is? If you want actual numbers, you'll have to check a regular thermometer. Once you do that, mark the current temperature on the index card wherever the pointer is pointing to.

When the temperature changes, mark the new temperature on your homemade thermometer.

You'll find that the gum wrapper thermometer isn't terribly precise; humidity can affect its accuracy. Still, it can tell you whether it is hotter today than yesterday, and maybe that's all the precision you want!

For more fun activities and crafts, check out:

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY DESIGNERS:

The following activities were designed by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls: