the other day it rained cats and dogs, then the next the skies were clear and sunny. i took it as an opportunity to teach the little ones i watch about the water cycle.
first we talked about where water comes from. three-year old bubby quickly grasped the concept that water goes through a cycle. he was excited about "ebaporation" and loved explaining the diagram print-out. we left two jars on the window sill, one uncovered, and marked them to see what will happen to the water left in the sun. bubby predicted the water in the uncovered jar will go up into the sky.=)
next we created a rainy window. the little ones colored white paper blue and helped me punch out holes. then we stapled and glued it all together. though they don't yet have the strength to use them, children are intrigued by hole punchers and staplers and enjoy helping adults squeeze and push them.
after the lesson, we made rain noises - we rubbed our hands together softly to make light rain, slapped our thighs to make loud rain, then stomped our feet to make thunder! they loved it and wanted to do it again and again. most pleasing was that they were getting exercise indoors without running around like wild animals.=)
the magic school bus has some great videos, and i found the 30-minute segment wet all over at the local library. the dvd wouldn't play, which turned out to be a blessing because we ventured outside instead. it seemed too cold for outdoor play but when bubby suggested we go out for some vitamin d=), we bundled up and ventured out. after being in the sun a few minutes, we warmed up and had a blast. we were also able to observe that the huge puddles there the day before had already evaporated.=)