Think Outside the Box

April Showers bring….lots of fun!

It’s Spring, and that means rain.  And sometimes thunderstorms.  And lots of learning opportunities!  Take time during the rainy season to make some discoveries and have some good times with your child.

You can begin – even on a sunny day – by learning why it rains.  What makes the clouds, and why does the rain fall from them?  When water becomes warm enough, it evaporates as vapor into the air. When a mass of air quickly cools to its saturation point, the water vapor condenses into clusters of tiny water droplets and frozen water crystals. We call these clusters clouds. Over time, the droplets and crystals that make up a cloud can attract more water to themselves. When water droplets grow heavy enough, gravity pulls them down as raindrops  Grab a bowl with some water, some cotton balls, and use the ‘cotton ball clouds’ to soak up the water and squeeze them to make it rain.  Or make your own rain model using a bowl of warm water covered with plastic wrap.  Put an ice cube or two on top of the plastic wrap.  Watch what happens on the underside of the plastic wrap.  Another ‘make it rain’ activity that’s fun to do:  Use a clear plastic cup filled with water.  Top it with shaving cream and add drops of blue food coloring on top.  The food coloring will drip through the shaving cream clouds and ‘rain’ into the water.  Make a rain catcher with your child using the bottom of a plastic water bottle.   Mark off the inches using a permanent marker, and place it outside in the rain to measure how much rain falls.  Using a paper towel tube, rice, some duct tape and markers or crayons, you can make a rain stick to enjoy the sound of rain, even on a sunny day.  Or, during a gentle rain, simply go outdoors and (with your rain gear on, of course) do some puddle jumping and just enjoy dancing in the rain!  We hope you have fun with these ideas, and add more of your own!  As always, we look forward to hearing from you – and how you and your family ‘Think Outside the Box!’