Did you know that there are some really great observations and experiments you can do outside in the rain? We usually try to stay out of it and stay dry. I want to encourage you to get outside and explore what happens in the rain!
You may want to gather these materials:
-cups or containers to gather water and soil in
-You may want a rain coat or umbrella - or go without if it is warm enough. Make sure you and your Science Buddy are prepared to get a little wet. Also, make sure that you do not go out in a thunderstorm! Remember to be safe and not to use electronics in or near water.
You can experiment with anything in the rain as long as it is OK with your Science Buddy.
Things to Do and Notice when you Observe and Explore
Take a rainy day nature walk. Really pay attention to how the world is effected by the rain around you.
- What direction is the rain falling? Is it coming straight down or from the side?
- Is the sky dark and cloudy, bright and cloudy, or bright and clear? (Sometimes we can have sun showers)
- How does the water land when it falls. Does it make a mark on the ground? Does it sink into the ground or stay on the surface? Does it splash into a puddle?
- How much rain can fall in 10 minutes? Use a clear cup and set it down in the rain. Watch the water collect and keep track of the time. Use a ruler to measure how much rain landed in that area in 10 minutes. Now imagine how much water is coming down to Earth during the rain shower.
- How does water run down a tree? Does it stay on the leaves? Do the leaves make the water go somewhere else? What happens to the rain when it hits a leaf?
- Do the leaves protect the area from underneath from getting wet? What type of leaf is best at protecting you from the rain?
- Insects and animals do different things in the rain as well. Try to find animals taking shelter from the rain. Try to imagine where you would hide if you were a butterfly or a beetle.
- LISTEN. What sounds can you hear in the rain. Do you hear birds or insects? What does the rain sound like when it hits different things? For instance - what does it sound like on a house? on a car? on a plant? on water? on a tree? on the ground? on the sidewalk?
- Is it a hard rain or a soft rain? What does it feel like on your hand?
- Find out where the water goes!
-Follow the rain as it runs down a surface. Does it sink into the ground? Does it stay on the surface? What happens to rain on different surfaces?
-Watch to see how water on the surface flows. If it makes a little stream, follow it. Does it bit another little stream? Does it stop in a puddle? Does it go underground? Does it go into a storm drain, or a small lake or a giant puddle?
- Go on a scavenger hunt and look for the following items:
4 worms, A rainbow (in the sky, in a puddle, or anywhere else?), A leaf falling from a tree, Something that’s dry, An insect hiding from the rain, An animal print or footprint in the mud
- What happens to a spot of soil or sand in the rain? Watch it. Does the sand or soil get moved by water? How far down does the water go? Can you dig down to a dry area with a spoon?
- Can you collect raindrops in a spoon?
- What shape do the raindrops when they fall on different surfaces? What happens on writing paper? On cardboard? On metal? On wood? On soil? On clothing?
- How do you make mud? Does all soil make mud? Can you shape mud into different shapes?
Observe the rainy world. What do you wonder about?
Ask your own questions and explore for the answers.
Things to Record (Write and Draw)
Please remember to make a Mission Report to keep track of your observations and any experiments.
Scientists keep a written and drawn record of what they do.
Write down and draw what you did, what happened, and what you discovered.
Pick two or three explorations you did in the rain. Write about what you did and what you observed. Using our senses to observe the world around is one of the most important skills of a scientist!
Keep a towel handy after to dry off.
WildBytes: Rainy Day Activities