Preschool Lessons on Weather with a Fun April Showers Craft!
Even though it snowed on the First Day of Spring around here, that hasn't stopped us from thinking sunshine-y Springtime thoughts. To get us in the mood for Spring, we've started talking about the first things we think of when it comes to Spring and for us, those things are flowers, sunshine and rain.
When it comes to planning crafts for my wily crew, I have to think fast and work quickly. Grand plans quickly fly out with window when you're working with a four-and-a-half and two-and-a-half year old so thankfully, one of our favorite Springtime crafts has been the easiest to date, mostly because it involves little preparation and requires things that I can almost guarantee you have laying around your home.
Easy, kid-friendly and inexpensive. Three of my absolute favorite things when it comes to kids and crafting.
As we gear up for April, I couldn't help but think about that age-old saying, "April Showers Bring May Flowers," and what better way to introduce bright blooms and Springtime showers than with this Wax Paper Sunshine + Rain craft? Not only is this a fun craft that let's little minds express their creativity through coloring but it also serves as a great introductory lesson on weather changes for toddlers and preschoolers.
Gather your supplies and start by having your child(ren) sit down and draw a picture of what Spring looks like in their own backyard. Perhaps you or someone you know has a garden that gets planted each year or maybe you plant pots of flowers (or herbs) and keep them on your porch, stoop or windowsill. A few years ago, we started a small 8x8 raised garden bed in the far corner of our backyard and it has been such an exciting activity to take part in as a family. From picking out what fruits and vegetables we'll grow each year to tilling the soil, planting the seeds and practicing patience as we watch the seeds sprout, eventually growing ripe produce that we enjoy all summer long, the boys love being such an integral part of the process.
For our craft, my oldest decided that he would draw a picture of our backyard garden. My two and a half year old took a much different, more abstract route and decided to draw a "field of big and tall flowers growing up, up, up."
Trying to find as many teachable moments in our day as I can (and failing probably more often than I succeed) I took this opportunity to explain a little bit about the sun's role in growing flowers or what we big kids know as "photosynthesis." The act of "using light to put things together" seemed like the easiest way to explain this to a toddler and a preschooler.
The boys loved it and the science nerd in me loved hearing them say "photo-syn-fasis." By explaining to them that plants need three things to grow up, light, water and carbon dioxide, it was the perfect segue into why plants need water to grow, just as much as they need the sun.
Once your child(ren) finish their sunshine drawing, it's time to place it aside and begin working on their rain picture, using the piece of wax paper. Encourage them to draw rain clouds and big, fat rain drops. If you really want to dive head first into a teachable moment, this would be a great time to talk about the different kinds of clouds that form, specifically cumulonimbus clouds.
Once their rain drawing is complete, attach it to the sunshine-y Springtime drawing by stapling it (or taping it) several times across the top of the paper. Now with just the turn of their wrist they can go from a pleasant sunshine-filled Spring day, to a rainy one, much like the days we'll be seeing here in Maryland this April.
As crazy it sounds, the boys absolutely loved this craft and it really helped us set the tone for the month ahead. I loved that it was easy, fun and very low on the mess-scale! Happy Crafting!