Weather diary

It's World Meteorological Day tomorrow (23rd March), and as the small boy has shown an interest in the weather (asking a lot of 'why' questions about it which I've attempted to answer!), I thought we could do a weather-related activity this last week.

Weather diary and cut out weather symbols

We talk about the weather forecast quite often when planning our days, and he is intrigued by the weather symbols on my Met Office app. I liked the idea of combining a bit of simple weather observation with learning what the symbols mean, so I made him a weather diary.  It's a grandiose way of saying I cut some coloured paper up, stuck a piece of paper he'd marbled when we were making an Earth and moon on as a cover, hole punched it and wrote 'weather' on the front!  I also printed some large weather symbols and cut them out so he'd be able to stick them in.

Choosing and sticking a symbol

As we're a bit lacking in our usual routine at the moment, the weather diary has provided a nice prompt to talk about the day of the week.  With a bit of help, he can read the days and names of months, so I've been writing the date on each page and we've discussed it each day.  We've talked about what we usually do (or at least, usually did) on each day of the week, and then we've talked about the weather on the day.  I've asked him to describe it in his own words, and he's used terms like 'sunny', 'cloudy', 'a bit wet', 'very wet'.

When he first saw the set of symbols, he wanted to know what each one meant.  There's a nice Met Office guide to this, and I talked him through all the ones I'd printed.  He was particularly taken by the fog symbol as he could read the word himself, but we've not yet had any fog to record in his diary!

Each day he's chosen the symbol he thinks has been most appropriate (and I've largely agreed with his choice!) and stuck it on the page.  He's now quite proud of his weather diary and asks to stick the symbol in it each day.  He's also taken more of an interest in the weather and the forecast as a result, and likes to try and read the forecast symbols on my phone when we look together.  He was very pleased to discover this morning that the forecast for the rest of the week has a lot of sun symbols and he's likely to be able to make the most of our garden!

Example page

For an older child, you could make more detailed observations e.g. more than once a day, could measure and record temperature or rainfall (we made a simple rain gauge last year). I did consider writing down whether our pine cones were open or closed and how much rain was in our gauge but I thought it might be a bit complicated and he's actually focused on choosing the weather symbol for the day and has looked forward to doing it.