Frida and I have been talking a lot about the weather at the moment! She is British, after all, so she has a LOT of weather-based small-talk ahead of her.
To allow Frida to simply record the weather – and to encourage her observation – I made her a very simple weather wheel. I simply laminated a sheet of paper, and a separate “wheel” which I attached with a paper fastener.
I could have made a fancier or prettier one, but I wanted to see if she would use it first, and in all honesty my art skills leave something to be desired. It is extremely easy for Frida to use, didn’t take me long to make, and suits our purposes well. Her only disappointment is that we don’t see enough rainbows!
When Frida is older we will also look at ways to measure rainfall and temperature, but for now, simplicity is key.
We have been really enjoying a couple of brilliant weather books, too.
Weather is part of the excellent Scholastic First Discovery series. It is simple, beautiful, and captivating for young children. I am really pleased with it, and Frida has been enjoying it too, asking for it often.
What Makes It Rain? is part of the Usborne First Questions series, which Frida really loves (lift-the-flap books always go down really well with her!) It has just the right amount of information for young children, touching on complex topics such as light refraction and the water cycle in a simple way.
We also read a lot of books which are directly or indirectly about the seasons (absolute favourites include The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons , Out and About, and A First Book of Nature) and these offer plenty of opportunity for discussions about weather.
But really, as much as I love books, for young children the best way to learn about weather is to experience it! I know we Brits love to complain about the weather, but we are so lucky to have distinct seasons and experience all types of weather (except for snow; here in London we don’t see much of it).
At the moment Frida and I love going out to spot the year’s first flowers – crocuses, snowdrops, tender swirls of blossom – and looking out for signs of spring. And of course, there are always plenty of opportunities to slosh around in mud and puddles.
There are so many things to discuss outdoors. Which animals like the rain? Which ones prefer sunshine? What are the flowers doing? Which way are they facing? What happens to the rain when it falls to the ground? Look at the trees – are their branches moving or still? Why? What are people wearing?
So my biggest recommendation for talking to children about weather is to dust off your wellies and rain jacket – or sunglasses and sunscreen! – fill up a flask, and get out there!
PS There are still some tickets remaining for the Frida be Mighty workshop on simplicity, where we will be exploring simplifying and slowing down in our homes, our schedules, and our children’s daily lives. It’s going to be a brilliant morning, connecting with like-minded mothers over tea, cake, and conversation. Come and join us!