Hands-On Spring Series: Rain

We have all heard, “April showers bring May flowers”. Yet rain usually means run inside and watch tv. Or at least it does in my home. Rather than click on another show or fire up the electronics, grab those rain boats and use spring rain showers as a science hands-on learning opportunity.

Hands-On Rain Activities

1. Measure daily rain fall. One of our favorite Trail Guide to Learning activities had us measuring rain. Use a plastic measuring cup or make your own rain gauge by cutting off the top of a 2 liter soda bottle and marking the sides with accurate measurements. The Homeschool Scientist offers a free handy Rain Flow Chart.

2. Between showers learn about the water cycle. You can easily replicate the water cycle in a plastic bag. Use a sharpie to draw arrows from the bottom of the bag to the top of the seal to show the direction water evaporates. Add water to the zip lock bag, if you have blue food coloring add a drop or two, seal the bag tight, and then tape the bag to a sunny window area. While you wait, read The Adventures of Munford, a friendly water molecule.

Hands On Rain Activities - Homeschooling Today Magazine

3. Learn where the most rainy spots are on the planet and what type of animals live there. Build a rain forest diorama. A shoe box and construction paper make for an easy rainy day hands-on activity.

4. Show off how plants absorb rain water and conduct The Celery Experiment. Okay, it’s probably not called that officially, but that’s what my boys call it. Fill glass cups 1/4 the way full with water. Dye water different colors using food dye (yellow and green are not as exciting as red and blue). Add one celery stalk to each cup. The celery will absorb the dyed water and start to change colors. Use this time to talk to your students about water pollution.

5. In our small town we have numerous flash floods during spring months. After your next gully-washer take a walk around and notice water erosion. No erosion on your street? Make your own water erosion. Grab a baking tin. Fill it with sand or dirt. Fill a spray bottle with water and squirt the dirt. {science experiment fail confession: the spray bottle was not exciting enough for my boys so they decided to dowse the dirt and dumped the water out of the bottle at a rapid … dirty pace.}

Enjoy learning about rain this month. Just be sure to head inside when you hear thunder and/or see lightning.

Check out more posts and great spring fun in our Hands-On Spring Series!

Stef Layton lives in Orlando, Florida homeschooling two tactile learners. Stef is the Hands-On Learning Columnist for Homeschooling Today magazine. This year she started showing hands-on activities on youtube. You can follow her at her blog or, Instagram, or Twitter @StefMLayton.

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