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Weather mark II

on June 4, 2009

Our studies have been interrupted by a visit from the grandparents, followed by some bouts of flu and another visit from my sister, but we have had several thunderstorms during that time. Froglet isn’t too keen on thunderstorms – especially when the wind blows our balcony door open with a bang! But I think it was good for him to see all the adults enjoying the lightning and watching the hailstones. The storms also gave us the chance to collect some rain in our rain-catcher, cunningly crafted from a glass and the top of a water bottle. I couldn’t use the bottom of a water bottle like you’re supposed to, because they aren’t flat here. Froglet was excited about this activity because he’s seen them do it on CBeebies. We have been measuring how much rain we’ve caught each day with the help of a wooden spoon with a face on it, christened Spooncle Luke due to its resemblance to Froglets uncle. I write down the number in his lapbook in pencil and then he traces over it in felt-tip.

Also in his lapbook, we have made a little chart to colour in, listing what sorts of weather we have seen each day. The grandparents being here means he hasn’t wanted to colour it though (after all, who wants to colour when you could play with cars?) and since they left we haven’t gone back to it, but now we will probably start over. Froglet is very much a people-person, but he has a task-oriented mother (and father too!) so this is a good reminder to me that relationship is really ever so much more important than colouring a weather chart, or any other task I set him/myself.

We’ve talked quite a bit about clouds, the different types and what they mean. He soon cottoned on to which ones were cumulus clouds (“like sheep”), but it took him a while to learn the others, possibly because he doesn’t find it interesting. He’s taken some photos of them though, and will now point out of the window and comment on the weather we’re having and what it’s likely to do later. We’ve bought a tiny weather station from Tchibo – barometer, thermometer and one of those that measures humidity, I forget the name. The barometer needs resetting, it thinks we’re at sea-level and as a result always tells us we’re on the brink of a thunderstorm.

Froglet being such a fan of YouTube, of course the most obvious thing to do after reading about how tornadoes are formed was to watch some videos online. The Stormchasers have a lot of great videos complete with tornadoes, storm clouds and hailstones, which he loved. We also made our own little tornado with some coloured water and washing-up liquid in a jar.

One last thing in this rather disjointed post. The British Met Office have a nice little children’s section with some basic games, one of which involves rearranging some puzzle pieces to form snowflakes. It’s surprisingly complicated (for a three year old!) and I wasn’t sure if it was worthwhile at first but then realised that rather than letting him touch the computer screen I could get him to tell me where each piece went by saying bottom right, top left and so on. As directions aren’t his strong point, this was a good exercise and he really enjoyed it – we played it again the following day.

I still want to make a windsock with him, but I haven’t had chance yet. This should be interesting for him because helicopters use them and he is very into his flying machines. I’m hoping he will start liking the wind more as a result.


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