Some mama friends and I tried to meet up at our local park’s water play area last week for some splashing and relieving the summer heat. We were there for about all of two minutes when what should happen? The skies opened up in a great downpour upon our previously dry heads.
Needless to say, our picnic was spent huddled wet and cold under the pavilion, instead of on the hillside on a sunny, humid day. But what DID come out of this play date gone awry was a fascination with thunderstorms.
The next few days were spent exploring various thunderstorm resources for kids, and trying to make the most of their curiosity and enthusiasm for violent weather. Here are some of the fun books and activities that we enjoyed together. (This post contains affiliate links.)
1) Thunder Cake– This book isn’t so much educational as it is just plain fun. Patricia Polacco tells the story of overcoming her fear of thunderstorms as a little girl with the help of her grandmother. The pair races against the clock to get a delectable treat- “thunder cake”- in the oven before the storm really hits. Complete with a recipe for thunder cake, this story turns potentially frightening weather into a special event to be shared. Be sure to check out the additional resources and activities to go with the book on Polacco’s website.
2) Wind and Weather I had this book as a young girl, and it was one that survived on the shelf until I had my own kids. It’s geared towards middle schoolers, but my four year old loves the different textured pages and variety of pictures. We just read a little at a time and talked about it together. It’s pretty much always a hit!
3) Weather Wiz Kids– A free educational website for kids that covers all types of weather. We read up on thunderstorms, checked out the super-cool moving graphics (what is cooler than animated lightning flashes?!?), and tried the “how a thunderstorm forms” experiment. My guy was a bit too little to absorb everything, but the fascination carries him a long way.
4) Storms, Cyclones & Hurricanes– Okay, so this is one of those really dry educational videos that everyone in your middle school classroom would groan about. But my guy loved it. He was quoting it all day. Only ten minutes long and free on Amazon Prime.
Learning about thunderstorms helped to make those big booms more fun and less scary for my guy- plus now he has an inkling of what’s going on up there during a storm! How do you learn about and enjoy potentially scary weather with your children?