This weather lesson for preschool is one of my favorite hands-on group lessons. I’ve used it in person and during virtual learning, and it’s always a fun way to explore clouds and our imaginations. If you need more weather-related lessons and activities, check out this post and my weather thematic unit here in my shop. What I love so much about exploring weather with preschoolers is that it’s something they experience daily and can relate to. Many science topics are a little far-fetched for young children, not because they can’t understand them, but because they don’t have any first-hand background knowledge about them. It’s fun to learn about science and the environment when you can relate it to your everyday experience.
What shape is your cloud? Lesson Plan.
There are a few ways of doing this activity, but my favorite is to keep it simple with white paint and plain old construction paper. This makes it a quick activity to set up and do at a circle time rug if you want. You will need one sheet of blue construction paper for each student some white paint, preferably in a squeeze bottle. That’s it. Oh, and the book.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw is the perfect fit for this weather activity. In the book, all different-shaped clouds are shown one at a time, and readers can guess they look like ice cream cones a birds, but they are all clouds. After reading this simple book, I like to move on to the art activity to make our clouds and see what shapes and objects we can find in them.
Lesson Step by Step
Start the lesson by reading the book. Ask the children if they would like to make their clouds and look for shapes in them. They will probably laugh and say that you can’t make real clouds, and then it’s time to agree and say today you’ll be making pretend clouds with paint and paper. Then hand out the blue sheets of paper. Next, as a group, fold the paper in two. When everyone has a well-folded paper it’s time to come around with your paint.
Squirt a little paint on one side of the paper, making sure to get it to the middle. Then instruct the child to fold it and rub the paint all around.
Everyone keeps it folded until the last student has gotten a chance to squish their paint.
Open and reveal.
Encourage your students to look at their squish cloud from different angles to see what shape it might be.
Go around the circle, asking each child to stand up and share their cloud and what image they see in it. Continue the lesson by going outside and looking for shapes in the clouds.