April: April Showers

Background

April showers bring May flowers…this month is all about showers and rain! Did you know that the planet is covered with water – in fact, 75% of the planet is water! Of that water, only 3% is fresh water and only 1% of the 3% is usable water we can get to. Rain (and the water cycle) is how we get the salt out of the ocean and into our freshwater sources!

Rain is part of the water cycle. The water cycle is the journey that water takes from lakes and oceans, to clouds and rain. The water cycle goes through you, me and your pets. It goes through plants and puddles.

Water Cycle

Water Cycle

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle-kids-placemat.html

Activities

  • Evaporation: Obtain two clear plastic glasses of the same size. Measure one cup of water and place in each cup. Mark the water level of each cup with a permanent marker. Place one in a sunny window and the other somewhere else in the room. Observe the glasses of water over the next couple of days. Ask the children where the water is going. Which is evaporating more quickly? Evaporation occurs when the particles of water become warm enough that they turn into vapors and leave the cup and escape into the air. Why did the water in the sun evaporate faster?
  • Rain in a Bag: Place a handful of dirt, some grass and a couple of tablespoons of water in a ziplock sandwich bag. Place a straw in the bag with end still sticking out. Seal the bag around the straw then blow air into the bag through the straw until it is filled. Seal the bag closed. Set the bag in the window on a sunny day and see it rain inside the bag.
  • Puddles! Take a pot full of water outside and dump it on concrete or asphalt.  Have you child circle the puddle with chalk.  Next, every 5 – 10 minutes circle the puddle.  You should see the puddle disappearing and the chalk circles getting smaller.  Where did the water go?
  • You can also jump in puddles that is always fun!
  • Make a rain gauge: Set out a glass and collect rain water.  Measure the rain with a ruler.

Books:

Crafts:

weather wreathTyler Exploration:

Don’t let the rain stop you from enjoying Tyler Arboretum! Visit different parts of the property to see how the rain is affecting it.  What sounds do the rain drops make in the North Woods compared to the pond?  Where is the water flowing from the parking lot, the pervious pathway by the butterfly house or the meadow maze?  What animals are out searching for food?  Do you see tracks in mud? (see 12 Months of Fun – January)

Additional Resources:

More Activities and Photos:

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