Inside: Watercolor printable weather cards for home or school. Can be used for discussing the weather, a memory game, a match game, or as a transitional activity before heading outside.
Do mornings feel rushed and disconnected in your house? Do your kids resist it when you tell them to stop playing and put the shoes on? I find that when I take 5-10 minutes for a transitional activity before heading outside everyone is much more cooperative and the day goes smoother. Weather cards offer one such transitional activity.
I know when my kids are little, they don’t appreciate it when I suddenly tell them to drop everything and put their shoes on. But when I stop my wild whirlwind of morning activities for five minutes to sit down on the floor and say, “Hey, do you know why mother kangaroos hate the rainy days?” I catch their attention without putting them on the defensive.
“No, Mom,” my child might say, lifting his/her head from a car crash or teddy bear hospital. “Why?”
“Because the kids have to play inside.”
Once I get my kids’ attention, I use this as an opportunity to expand their weather vocabulary and observational skills. I ask questions: What’s the weather today? What’s the season? Is it sunny outside? Do we need to put on rain boots or sandals? I say silly things like what doesn’t get wetter no matter how much it rains? (The ocean. By the way, here are my favorite Weather Jokes). After 5-10 minutes, I say, “Let’s go outside and check out the weather.” Now the kids are much more cooperative, and everybody is heading outside in a good mood.
Weather cards are very easy to make, and kids love them. You can keep a set by the door to talk about the weather before heading outside. Or you can keep a set in your purse for easy entertainment on the go.
What you need:
Paper to print the weather cards
A jar/box to keep them in or paper and stickers to decorate a box
What to do:
- Print the weather cards page (here).
- Cut along the grey lines. (My seven-year-old loves this kind of projects, so she volunteered to help).
- Optionally, you can run them through a laminator to make them last. Or just print a new set when this one gets worn out.
- Find a jar or box to keep the cards in. Or make a new special storage container. We took an empty Ahmad Tea container and decorated it with paper and stickers.
- Explain that from now on, before heading outdoors, you will pull the weather cards out and pick the one that best corresponds to the weather outside.
Match Game: Print two sets of weather cards and cut them along the grey lines. Place all of the cards face down on the floor. Take turns turning two cards over. If the cards match, take the cards and have another turn. If the cards don’t match, leave them as is and move to the next player.
Memory Game: Proceed the same way as above. However, if the cards don’t match, turn them face down again. Now players have to remember what was on the cards. Turn only one card at a time, and if it matches one of the previously turned up cards, try to remember which one it was. Turn it over. Did you remember correctly? Keep both cards and have another turn. If you didn’t remember correctly, turn the cards back down again and move to the next player.
Favorite Weather Books:
Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today, Cat in the Hat Learning Library
What Will the Weather Be Like Today? Paul Rogers (The best introduction to weather concepts)
Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons
The Everything KIDS Weather Book (puzzles, games, and facts that make weather for kids fun)
Weather, by Jill McDonald (Hello, World board books series)
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Does your child understand weather words? Are you looking for a transitional activity before heading outside? If your answer is yes and yes, then Weather Cards are definitely for you!
Are you looking for some more weather activities?