The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers

The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers – Let’s make learning about weather – a breeze! 

This past week we explored the wild and wondrous world of WEATHER! 

Activity Sneak Peak:

  • Snow measurement activity
  • Maple taffy on snow 
  • Making an ice suncatcher 
  • Daily calendar activity 
  • Making a pinwheel 
  • Rainbow play
  • Reading about weather 
  • Painting a rainbow 

And what a week it has been

Mother Nature kicked off the week with a couple days of snow, then the mild temperatures rolled in, followed by a wicked wind storm and ending with more seasonal weather. Whew! 

The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers

As you may know from my previous posts, our family is following the Exploring Nature with Children nature study with our little ones. 

We’ve been documenting our adventures as we introduce our toddler and baby to the natural world. Be sure to check out my previous post-  Moss and Lichen: How to Make Learning Fun! 

Puddle jumping
Puddle jumping

So how did we discover The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers? Let me share all of the weather inspired play and activities we did this past week.

The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers

Experiment with Weather

Measuring precipitation!

Our week started with a blast of snow! We were originally expecting rain and I had plans to make a rain gauge to measure the precipitation, but temperatures dropped and we were hit with snow instead. 

Amelia is fascinated with measuring all kinds of items (and people) around the house, so I just knew she would enjoy measuring our newly fallen snow! 

We bundled up, grabbed the measuring tape and took to the snow! We measured the depth of the snow in different areas, noting that it was deeper in some areas compared to others. 

Maple Taffy- a tasty experiment 

Have you ever had maple taffy? It’s the best! I’ve had it while visiting maple syrup farms, but I’ve never thought to make it at home… until now! 

It’s quite easy to make and demonstrates how hot maple syrup quickly turns into a chewy taffy as it hits the cold snow. Cool, eh?! 

Maple taffy
Maple taffy

What you need:

  • Pure maple syrup
  • Snow
  • Sticks or popsicle sticks 

First we compacted fresh snow into a large bowl and brought it into the house. (You can make it directly in the snow outside too! It was getting dark out so we opted to make it indoors). 

Maple taffy
Maple taffy

Then, boil pure maple syrup until it reaches a temperature of 238 F. It’s best to use a candy thermometer. 

Once the maple syrup was bubbling and reached the correct temperature, I carefully poured it onto the snow and we saw that it instantly started to thicken and solidify. 

Pouring maple taffy
Pouring maple taffy

Quickly, use a stick and roll it through the freshly poured syrup to get the taffy onto the stick. Enjoy a sweet maple treat! 

Making maple taffy on snow
Making maple taffy on snow

Try a Weather Activity 

Ice Suncatchers! 

Cold temperatures had arrived and we took advantage of the icy days by making a natural material ice suncatcher! 

Ice suncatcher
Ice suncatcher

What you need:

  • A pie dish 
  • Water
  • Twine or string
  • Natural materials such as sticks, cones, berries, fruit etc.

First we went outside and collected some materials to include in our sun catchers. Amelia was drawn to the brilliant red dogwood, so we took a branch to use.

Making ice suncatchers
Making ice suncatchers

Once we had some natural materials, we placed them into the pie dish. We also included an orange and a few raspberries for a little pizazz.

We brought the pie dishes outside and Amelia filled them with water. I cut a piece of twine about 8” in length and placed the ends in the pie dish to allow the suncatcher to be hung by the twine once frozen. Then it was time to wait! 

Making ice suncatchers
Making ice suncatchers

It reached freezing temperatures overnight, so by morning, our suncatchers were frozen solid! We were able to see that the cold temperatures changed the water into ice. As it warmed up outside during the day, we saw the ice melt again and the birds enjoyed the berries as it thawed! 

Our Daily Calendar

As a part of our morning routine, we arrange the magnets on our daily calendar. The calendar displays the date, temperature, weather, daily activities, and emotions. 

Daily weather calendar
Daily weather calendar

We’ve been really liking this calendar for some time now. Amelia looks forward to changing the magnets daily and checking the weather to update the calendar.

Checking the weather
Checking the weather

Each morning we open the door to the deck and Amelia steps out to determine what the temperature is like and what’s happening weather-wise at the time.

Make a Pinwheel! 

As the week progressed, the snow melted away and we experienced a big windstorm. We lost power for a night and ate dinner by candlelight. Not as romantic with a toddler and baby involved.  

Exploring a fallen tree after a windstorm

We lost a few trees in the windstorm and Amelia helped remove the downed trees from the forest so they weren’t lying across our walking trail. 

It was still quite windy, so we decided to make a pinwheel! Here are the instructions we followed to make our pinwheel.

We used a finishing nail and a paint stir stick instead of a push pin and pencil because the paper I used for the pinwheel was too thick for a push pin to reach through. 

Weather Play and Exploration 

Playing in the snow
Playing in the snow

As always, we did lots of outdoor exploration this week and experienced all of the different types of weather that came our way.

Our winterized beehive
Our winterized beehive

Brooks played in the snow for the first time, we found a few puddles to jump in, and we checked in on our bees who are now tucked in for the Winter months. 

We also played indoors with our Grimm’s Rainbow and made all kinds of structures with it. Our kids love this toy and use it for all kinds of open-ended play! 

Read a Weather Book 

There are many great children’s books that directly or indirectly talk about weather. This is one of our new favourites.

Hello, World! Weather
Hello, World! Weather

The book goes through the different seasons and weather conditions and shows how the same backyard can look different as the weather changes. 

Reading about weather
Reading about weather

As the book introduces a new weather condition, the story shows what type of clothing and accessories may be needed for playing outdoors. 

Make Weather Artwork 

Let’s Paint a Rainbow! 

Amelia liked talking about the different colours in the rainbow while we were playing with our Grimm’s Rainbow. We decided to explore this further and paint a rainbow! 

Painting rainbows
Painting rainbows

After getting our water colour paints out, we painted the most cheerful rainbows! We love painting here, and Amelia is starting to want to paint actual things and not just splash the colours around (although we still have fun doing that too). 

It was fun to use our toy rainbow as a model for our artwork and explore the colours of the rainbow! 

Painting rainbows
Painting rainbows

I hope you found inspiration with The Best Ways to Explore Weather with Toddlers. Learning about weather has been a fun and interesting topic to discover with our family. 

Mother Nature blessed us with a cool variety of weather to experience this week and we had a blast taking advantage of her generosity! 

Let’s hear from you! 

How have your children explored the concept of weather? 

Be sure to follow play and pinecones on Instagram and Pinterest for more nature inspired play and activities!

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