Do you have a budding meteorologist in the family? Treat her to this art activity inspired by the weather. Your child will combine natural materials, household items and basic art materials to create a hanging weather mobile. She'll practice science as she learns about the seasons, and gets a chance to practice her motor skills. The end result is a cool piece of art that you can hang anywhere in the house!
What You Need:
- 2 sturdy sticks
- Cotton balls
- Watercolor paint and brushes
- Hole punch
What You Do:
- Take a trip outdoors with your child and help her collect two sticks that are about the same length.
- Search your house for reusable paper or cardboard materials. These can include (but are not limited to) cereal boxes, cracker boxes, shoe boxes, or blank sides of posters.
- Ask your child to name the four seasons. Once she has named all four, discuss what types of weather you might see and feel during each season.
- Invite your child to create a summer sun drawing. Encourage her to decide what shape the sun is, and then draw it using crayons.
- Cut out the sun shape, and draw the same sunny picture on the back. Then punch a hole near the top of the summer sun.
- Next, ask your child to create a cloudy day creation for the mobile by drawing a cloud shape on the cardboard. Help her cut the shape out.
- Glue cotton balls to one side of the shape and set it aside to dry.
- Once it's dry, turn it over and over the other side with cotton balls. When the second side is dry, punch a hole near the top of the cloud. You should end up with a soft, fluffy cloud.
- To make the snow part of the mobile, hand your child a piece of white paper. Fold the paper in half, and then in half again. Use the scissors to cut small slits and shapes in the paper. Unfold to reveal a snowflake! Then punch a hole near the top.
- Ask your child to draw a rain drop shape and cut it out. Using the water colors (after all, raindrops are water!) have her paint the raindrop. Once dry, punch a hole near the top.
- Help your child thread a piece of yarn through each weather pattern hole, tying a knot to secure it.
- Cross the sticks to make a plus sign and wrap the yarn around the spot where both sticks cross. Tie securely, and add another piece of yarn tied to the middle to hang the mobile from.
- Tie the sun, clouds, snow, and rain to one end of each stick.
- Hang the weather mobile up, and keep the project going by asking your child to point each morning to the side that matches the day's weather!
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.