Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • To introduce children to some familiar weather patterns.
  • Temperature and how it changes.
  • Wind movement and what it affects.
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • Tornado

Books : (In kit)

  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Marilyn Sadler
  • Wild, Wet and Windy by Claire Llewellyn
  • The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
  • Weather: Things to make and do by Eyewitness Explorers

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 1 Cloud Chamber (glass ball with blue bulb at one end; rubber hose off glass ball; clamp; instructions for use)
  • 1 Matches (1 box)
  • 1 Large wooden thermometer
  • 1 Tornado Kit (2 large clear plastic bottles with yellow connection piece)
  • 1 Weathervane (blue & yellow plastic with N,S,E,W pieces)
  • 1 Anemometer (blue & yellow plastic with 4 blue cups which move around, instruction sheet)
  • 1 Sling Psychrometer (wet/dry thermometer, with instructions)
  • 1 Strainer
  • 18 Pinwheels (with instructions)
  • 2 Tornado Tubes

Consumables : (To be supplied by you)

  • Flour (half a cup or so)
  • Paper
  • Sticks or pencils, or cups
  • Thumbtacks or pins for pinwheels

Resource Book : (Contact your local library to borrow)

  • Van Cleave, Janice. Janice Van Cleave’s Weather. John Wiley & Sons, 1995.

Bookmarks : (In kit)

  • Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.
    • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
    • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.


  • Objectives
    • To introduce children to some familiar weather patterns.
    • Temperature and how it changes.
    • Wind movement and what it affects.
    • Clouds
    • Rain
    • Tornado
  • Introduction
    • What is weather? Weather is the condition of the air that surrounds the earth.
    • What are some of the weather conditions we know? (Sunny, rainy, snowy, cloudy, windy, cold, hot, etc.)
    • What makes things happen? (Season, sun – don’t go into too much detail, since we are more interested in what happens rather than how it happens.)
    • How can we measure weather patterns? (thermometer, anemometer)
  • Program
    • Read story – THE WIND BLEW by Pat Hutchins.
    • Use the big thermometer to show room temperature. Make it rise with someone blowing on it. Drop the temperature with an ice cube or something cold, but not too wet. Follow instructions for wet bulb thermometer to show effect of wind on temperature.
    • Use the weathervane to show how it changes with the direction of the wind. Give brief explanation about north winds being warmer than south winds and how wind direction can move weather patterns.
    • Use the anemometer and watch what happens when the “wind” goes faster. You can blow on it, move it with your hands or use a fan to get it to move. Have the children notice how much work it does take to get it moving really fast.
    • Use the tornado bottle to demonstrate a circular movement of wind. (Yes, this is moving water, but it makes it more visible than moving air for demonstration purposes.)
    • Use the glass cloud chamber to demonstrate the formation of clouds and how the pressure (from squeezing the blue bulb) changes the cloud form. NOTE: This does take the use of a burning match to make it work.
    • Look at raindrops indoors. Put a small amount of flour in a strainer. Sprinkle several drops of “rain” (water from your fingertips/brush/leaf/etc.) on the flour. Gently shake the strainer to allow the excess flour to fall through to a container or surface below. What is left in the strainer is flour coated “raindrops”. This shows the different sizes and shapes of the droplets. Try different objects for sprinkling the water and see what effect they have on size or shape. (More advanced children may wish to measure their sizes.)
    • Give each child a pinwheel so that they may experiment with the movement of wind by: blowing them, waving them, moving with them, etc. Pattern is included for making pinwheels.
  • General
    • This is just an introduction to weather. The program can be enhanced greatly if your facilities allow using some of the items outdoors as well as indoors and under the varying conditions of several days. The temperature would change, the wind would change, there may be real raindrops to catch, clouds would move and the amount of sun would also change.
    • If time allows, or as a follow-up project for another day, the children could each make their own pinwheels out of paper.
    • Wind chimes of various sorts (both noise producing and quiet, but colorful ones) could also be made for hanging in the classroom or outside the window.
    • The story CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS by Judi Barrett is a good follow-up book to read. (It is a bit too long to include in an introductory 45 minute program.)


Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

Topics | About the Kits | Lending Policy

MVLS Board of Trustees Meeting

9:30 AM, Thursday, September 15, 2022
Board Documents

Library Catalog

Support MVLS

Contact Us

Phone: 518-355-2010
Fax: 518-355-0674
Regular Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 30 other subscribers

Blog Archive

Blog Categories