Spring has sprung, and we all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” This means, while the excitement of spring is upon us, most areas of the United States will also be facing LOTS of rainy weather. NEVER FEAR: Whether you are reading this as a parent, teacher, or both; these ideas will keep your kiddos engaged in learning, even if they are cooped up inside the house until sunnier days appear!
With spring showers often follow rainbows! Help your little ones pass the time during the storm by exploring the science of rainbows.. Set the stage and build background knowledge by exploring colors, light, and color mixing. These color paddles and color mixing lenses by Learning Resources are perfect for rainbow play and exploration. Let your students experiment with shining light through individual colors and also play with color mixing by overlapping primary color paddles to make secondary colors.
After that warm-up, transition from color mixing to into rainbow fun with one of my favorite, simple activities for this time of year. The best milk color changing experiment I have found is from Spangler Science (here). Watch the video and follow the simple instructions to have your littles mixing colors like rainbow experts. Ask your kiddos to record their materials, steps in the experiment, and observations using a blank paper or in a journal.
Weather Wonders Exploration
When you’re stuck inside due to rainy spring showers, use that time as a learning opportunity, whether at home or school! Using fun, visual, and engaging weather trackers like these (large & small) from Learning Resources, you can turn the rainy day blues into a meteorologist broadcast. Then, extend that experience with the fun spring craftivity below, and perhaps even pair it with some weather-themed poetry.
Cupcake Wrapper Umbrellas
This activity is simple, adorable, and perfect for home and school creation. I made these gems applicable to fourth grade by having students start by creating the umbrella visual and then writing poetry about rain to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. You can do the same at home/school to enhance this craftivity.
Assorted cupcake wrappers/liners
Assorted colors of pipe cleaners
White construction paper
Blue tempera paint
Fold 2-3 cupcake liners in half.
Arrange on white construction paper.
Glue back half of the liners to the paper.
Cut pipe cleaners in half (or smaller, if needed).
Curl the bottom end of the pipe cleaner to form the handle (J) of the umbrella
Glue the top of the handle inside the umbrella.
Secure bottom of the pipe cleaner handle to the construction paper by applying glue underneath.
Using blue paint and paintbrush, make raindrops falling all around the umbrellas.
Clean up any mess and display the beautiful finished products!
While you and your little ones might be thinking, “Rain, rain, go away,” you can make the most of your time inside with these hands-on spring themed activities. They will have a blast, and when the showers pass, they’ll be geared up and ready to explore outdoor spring weather!