Weather and the garden
As adults, we know how weather affects both our lives and the garden. But what about the kids? How do you explain the affects of weather to kids without putting them to sleep? Planting a garden, of course! Using the weather as a teaching tool in the garden is a great way to explore all aspects of weather in a fun, easy to understand way. Children will have the opportunity to observe various weather patterns and their effects on garden plants. They will develop a better understanding of the changing seasons and how each one affects the garden.
Fun Weather Activities
1. Have the kids create a planting calendar and a journal (you can download the grow with me journal here). Encourage them to write about and illustrate the garden during various stages of development and the changing seasons. Have them make special notes about weather conditions - sunny, cloudy, windy, hot, cold, etc. This is a great way for kids to study the seasons as the garden grows.
2. Just for fun, have kids collect items pertaining to specific seasons as they approach. For instance, bulbs, flowers, and rainwater are good items for Spring. During summer, they might collect fruits and vegetables. Fall items could include colorful leaves and seeds. Snow, tree branches and pine cones are a good idea for winter.
3. Create a weather station by making a rain-gauge to measure rainfall and a thermometer in the garden to keep up with and study the temperatures. Discuss the importance of rain and its effect in the garden. For instance, what happens when the garden gets too much or too little rain?
4. Discuss weather forecasting and use common weather lore sayings to predict events in the garden. Have the kids keep track of the ones that are true. For example, birds are said to fly closer to the ground before stormy weather. When leaves of trees overturn and plants droop, possible storms and windy conditions are likely. Flowers are thought to smell more intense just before rain. The higher the clouds, the better the weather.