Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What to do on a rainy day?

 As part of our Nature Club two weeks back we discussed the rain cycle and did a few experiments showing how water is in the air around us.  How it cools when it reaches a cold area and how it rises and evaporates when heated.  We also made some very simple rain gauges.  So imagine the excitement when  a few mornings later, while eating breakfast, we experienced a spectacular symphony of rain sounds on our metal roof!

And this is what we opened the door up to...........a carpet of hail stones!

Our front verandah was quickly covered with little stones-the biggest we've ever seen!

And this is what happened to our front lawn.....

They bounced off the trampoline....

and ran down the gutter to form piles of ice!

 Which had to be collected of course!

Ooooooo,  just look mommy!!!!

We lay them out on a baking sheet to look a little closer at these amazing ice stones!  It looked like sago pudding, but not as warm.....brrrrrrrr.  The closest we'll ever get to experiencing snow in our front garden!

And then of course the hunt was on to see who could collect the most.....

so that it could go into the freezer of course!

And then after all that rain we took the opportunity to measure the rainfall which had collected in our rain gauges.

Making maths meaningful ..... counting in fives.  Each line is marked off in 5 mm measurements.  Real life maths....the way I like doing it best!  I must admit that this simple activity has helped me to understand the weather sites I visit.  Now that I've seen and experienced  how much 15 mm of rain is, I'm far more prepared to head outdoors for the day when I see a prediction of 5 or 10 mm.  I now know it may rain, but not for long!  Yes, I did realise that it wouldn't rain much on those days before, but now that I've seen it, it has been put into perspective so much better!  I really must be a visual-kinesthetic learner :-)

Recording skills-learning about measuring in mm, number recognition and writing practice.   

Recording the weather for the day....drawing all those hailstones took forever!!!

And then we did a creative activity.....bead threading to decorate our winter trees.  We started this little project three years ago when I was missing the beautiful green leaves on the tree which grows just outside our "dining room" window.  Every year we add a different string of beads.

A little bit of sorting..... and counting and sharing.  
(I just love it when Maths happens naturally!)

Discovering shapes within a pile of beads.....that's my little designer with her creative eye always on the look out for all things beautiful.

More maths....creating repetitive patterns with the beads.  

And a little fine motor skill practice.  Amazing to see how he has progressed in a year-he never threads beads on his own initiative.  Proof that maturity plays a big role in readiness, and not repeated practice of a similar exercise.  Last year this skill was way beyond his concentration and physical ability.  This year I left him alone completely and he threaded his very own string of beads for the first time!  

A little bit of outdoor time between the rainfall.  Climbing up our bare winter tree to add her string of beads to our growing collection.

The best picture I could get to show you of the three different strings we've done.  Blue beads, drift wood and shells we collected from our Durban holiday and our newly threaded red string.  Next year I think we'll try adding some mirrors for some sparkle.  Perhaps I'm turning into a glitzy girl after all :-)

To end off the rainy day indoors we pasted together our fire station lap books.  I know, I know! That outing was ages ago...... putting it together had been on my to do list for a while-I was just waiting for a rainy day!

Our first lap book: after putting it off for a while (are you noticing a trend here?) I finally took the leap and chose a very simple one I could work on with both of my kids.  Sometimes finding activities which appeal to both of them can be a do you moms of three or more do it?!

A very busy rainy day filled with lots of incidental learning.