The start of winter is a great time to explore the theme of rain in your early learning environment. Children naturally wonder about their environment, so incorporating the natural changes in the environment with the changes of season can be a very engaging way to incorporate learning into your early learning themes.
Sit the children in circle with bongos or drums. Ask them to listen to the rain and match the rhytym of the drops. Discuss how the music changes over time, as the rain gets faster and slower. This introduces the idea of the beat. You might find that the children pick up different aspects of the rain beats, and end up making a symphony out of the natural noise.
One of the fun thing you can do with slightly older children is to introduce some of the ways of measuring the weather. Why not put out a measuring cup to work out how much rain you get over an hour or a day. You can use this as a lead in to discuss some of the other numbers and measurements that children might hear about the weather, including the temperature.
Arts and crafts
Offer the children a range of materials to represent rain. Some children may like rain to look more sparkly and prefer glitters and foils, which others may see lighter colours. Children often see rain in different shades of greys and blues, and this can be a way to discuss how we all see things differently and can benefit from seeing the world through other peoples eyes using arts and crafts.
The start of rain is a wonderful entrance into discussing the environment. You can discuss all the ways that rain is used in the community, including water plants, drinking water and water for washing.
This can also lead into chats about the importance of keeping the waterways free, as water flows from stormwater drains into rivers and waterways before it reaches the sea. Keeping the street free of rubbish helps stop rubbish from reaching the sea and interfering with the sea life. This can also lead into a fun excursion to the local aquarium where the kids can see the aquatic animals in their normal enviroment.
Rain is an interesting and flexible theme, so don't be concerned if you come into work and see a rainy day forecast. It can be a lovely way to learn and reflect. For more information or advice, contact a school such as Keep Learning Education.
It's so great to see children asking questions. I try and view childhood education as a process where they ask questions, and we work together to work out the answer. It's more important to know how to find answers than to know every countries names, or the height of the highest mountains in the world. If children can stay curious about their world, then they will keep learning and become powerful citizens. This site has my tricks for helping children and hot to encourage learning within day to day life, and within the formal education environment. I hope you enjoy!