Using simple materials you have at home, create a weather chart that you can use to track your local weather conditions daily! Our chart includes a spinning wheel to show weather conditions, a sliding temperature scale and a display that shows the season of the year. The bright colors of Kid Made Modern paint make this project extra special.
-Cardboard (one large piece for the base of the chart and some smaller pieces)
-Two white paper plates
-1 metal paper fastener
-Kid Made Modern washable paints
-Hot glue gun (*always ask an adult to help you use a glue gun!)
-2 pipe cleaners
Create the weather wheel
Step 1: Take two white paper plates and turn them upside down. On one plate, use a marker to divide it into fourths. On the second plate, use your scissors to cut one fourth of the plate out in a wedge.
Step 2: Take the plate with the lines dividing it into four sections. Paint a different type of weather that you experience where you live in each section. We chose to paint sunny, cloudy, rainy and snowy weather because they are all common throughout the year in North Carolina (where we live). Once the paint dries, you can use a permanent marker to label each weather condition you painted.
Step 3: On the second plate (with the wedge missing) use a permanent marker to write “Today the weather is…” on the plate.
Step 4: Make a dot in the center of each paper plate. Use scissors to poke a small hole through each dot. Place the cut plate on top of the decorated plate. Run your metal paper fastener through both holes and open it on the back to secure it. You should now be able to spin the top plate to reveal each different weather condition in turn!
Create the temperature scale
Step 5: Using some cardboard scraps, cut two rectangles. One should be a long thin rectangle (roughly 10 inches long and 1 inch wide). The second should be a shorter, wider rectangle (roughly 7 inches by 2 inches). Cut the inside out of the second rectangle, leaving about ½ inch of cardboard around the edges.
Step 6: Paint the long, thin rectangle to look like a temperature gradient. To paint ours, we started with a color on each end (red for hot and blue for cold) and gradually added white to our paint as we painted towards the middle of the cardboard piece. This will make your paint get lighter and lighter as it moves to the middle of the gradient. In the very center, between the red and blue paint, paint a section with white paint. When this dries, you can use a permanent marker to write “HOT” on the red side and “COLD” on the blue side.
Step 7: Hold the second rectangle perpendicular to the painted one. Fold the top and bottom so that it wraps around the painted rectangle and the tops and bottoms meet on the back. Use your hot glue gun to glue the top and bottom of the wrapped rectangle closed. This part will slide back and forth across the temperature gradient. Take two pipe cleaners and glue them across the top and bottom of the wrapped piece, if you want.
Create the seasons display
Step 8: Cut a square from cardboard, roughly 5 inches on each side. Use scissors or a knife to carefully cut out the inside of the square, leaving about ½ inch around the edges. Save this inside piece! Trace the smaller square (from the inside) onto another piece of cardboard 3 times and cut out each of these squares. You should now have one large square with a hole in the middle and four small squares. The small squares will fit inside the big one like puzzle pieces!
Step 9: Think of a weather image that represents each season of the year where you live. We chose falling leaves for fall, a sun for summer, flowers for spring and a snowman for winter. Paint each image on each of the four small squares. Use a permanent marker to label each picture.
Complete the weather chart
Step 10: To complete your weather chart you will glue each of the three items you created to one piece of cardboard. To glue the wheel on, run a bead of hot glue around the rim of the bottom plate and stick it onto your cardboard base. For the seasons display, glue the large square with the hole in the middle onto your base. Do not glue the small squares inside; you should be able to pop these into the puzzle and have them stay. Finally, you will attach your temperature scale. For this one, you will want to cut a few tiny pieces of cardboard (we used 6). Use hot glue to glue the tiny bits in a stack on each end of the temperature gradient (on the back side). Put some glue on the top of each stack and secure it to the chart. This will allow your sliding piece to move!
Add a Little STEAM
Once you’ve created your weather chart, you can use it to do some weather tracking and practice your graphing skills!
Try tracking the weather in your area for a month. Update your chart every day based on the weather you observe. One a piece of paper, write down the date, temperature and weather conditions every day for a month. At the end of the month, you can create graphs that show what the weather patterns were like! Try creating a bar graph that shows the number of times each weather condition occurred that month. You can also create a line graph to show how the temperature changed day-to-day! If you really want to challenge yourself, you can track the temperature for an even longer time and create a graph with even more interesting data!
This post is by Emily Limer from Making with Mommy! Follow her on Instagram for more kids craft and STEAM ideas!
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