Making Clouds: Weather Experiment Inspired by Frankie MacDonald

Making Clouds_ Weather Experiment inspired by Frankie MacDonald

Thanks to Nimbus Publishing who sponsored this post so that we can bring local books to local kids. We only partner with businesses that we believe bring value and enjoyment to Halifax families. If you'd like to talk about working together, please contact us. As always, all opinions are our own.

There's an old Nova Scotia joke: "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute." My kids love talking about the weather and we even have one of those weather wheels teachers have - it's in our dining room and in the morning the kids like to check the weather and turn the wheel to reflect what's happening outside.

This month's book club pick is weather related which was a lot of fun for us. It's called Be Prepared! The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything. It's co-authored by everyone's favourite weather forecaster Frankie MacDonald and local author Sarah Sawler (who also wrote 100 Things You Didn't Know About Atlantic Canada for Kids).

It is geared at a bit of an older crowd than many of our books (around grades three and up) but with Miss M heading into grade two this fall I thought she would enjoy it and I was right.

The book is stuffed full of fascinating weather facts and the story of how Frankie MacDonald became the celebrity he is today. One of the elements of this book that I, as a parent, also particularly loved, was how the authors did such a wonderful job explaining autism. I felt like my daughter came away from it having a better understanding of autism that she will bring with her back to school. I think this book is a must-have for every classroom for all of these reasons!

After reading the book we were inspired to do a weather experiment reading extension activity. There is a section in the book about the different types of clouds and how they're created, so we decided to make our own clouds as well, right in our own home!

Read on for the instructions on how to do this experiment, and your chance to WIN a copy of this book - perfect for your kids to enjoy themselves, or as a gift for your favourite teacher to use in the classroom as we head back to school!

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HOW TO MAKE A CLOUD

This is a fun experiment to do outside where you can check out real clouds and then learn how they are created.

You'll need:

  • Ice cubes

  • Matches (this is obviously the adult's part of the experiment)

  • Hot to boiling water (again, an adult job)

  • Glass jar with a lid (like a mason jar) or, in a pinch, a small drinking glass with a plate used as a cover will work

  • Food colouring: optional

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Pour the hot water in the jar to about half full. Flip the jar lid upside down and fill it with ice cubes and have it ready to go. If you want to add some food colouring to the water, now's the time. We did this on our second round of the experiment so the kids could see the difference between the water and the cloud more clearly.

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The adult will then light a match, lower it inside the jar, and blow it out.

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Have the child place the upside down lid (with the ice cubes still sitting on top) on the top of the jar (remind them not to touch the jar as the water will have made the glass hot).

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In a few seconds you should see a cloud form in the jar (my kids called it fog, clearly they're Nova Scotian kids!).

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As the cloud starts to fill the bottle, you can have your child lift off the lid if they want and let the cloud escape. It will typically stream out like one long cloud, but sometimes you get a little cloud puff like the one above!

It's fun to experiment with different temperatures and amounts of water, and more or less ice, to see how your cloud changes when the "cold and hot fronts" meet.

WIN THIS BOOK!

If you haven't read our other book club posts yet, be sure to check out more book extension posts by clicking here.

You can buy this book directly from Nimbus Publishing, or from one of the many local and national booksellers.

We’ve teamed up with Nimbus Publishing to give away a copy of this book. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below and ***IMPORTANT*** make sure you come back to the Rafflecopter widget and check off each task you complete in order for it to be counted as an entry.

When the contest closes, one random winner will be drawn. S/he will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond; if there's no reply by then, we will draw for a new winner. Good luck!

*Winners must be age of majority in their home province/state and be residents of Canada or the United States; excluding Quebec.