Alternate Activity 1: Cloud Watching
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Drawing paper on clipboards, and crayons or markers
- Optional: Beach towels
Preparation for Activity
- Select an outdoor area where the children can lie down near one another and see the sky easily.
- Let parents know ahead of time that the children will be going outside and lying on the ground, so they can dress appropriately.
Description of Activity
On a nice day with plenty of clouds in the sky, take the children outside. Ask them to bring appropriate outdoor clothing, and their imaginations.
Have each child find a comfortable spot where they can lie down and view the sky. Tell them to relax as they gaze up into the sky and look for shapes in the clouds. You can offer examples of things to look for (animals, plants, buildings, book or movie characters, food, geometric shapes, symbols) especially if they seem uncertain, but be sure they know they can look for any shape-anything at all.
Many children have watched clouds before and will need little encouragement, but some may resist. If a child does not want to lie on the ground, offer a beach towel or allow the child to sit on a bench or large rock, if one is nearby.
Suggest volunteers point to a cloud and share aloud with the group what they see it as. This can be very exciting with a large group. Or, you can ask them to look for shapes silently and remain quiet for several minutes.
When attention starts to wane, invite children to sit up quietly and think about the favorite shape that they saw. Distribute drawing supplies to children who wish to make pictures of their favorite cloud shapes, while others continue to cloud watch. When everyone is ready, share descriptions or pictures of their favorite clouds.
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