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Gone with the Wind

Have you ever watched small children playing outside on a windy day? They love to run and scream, stretch their arms out as if to fly.  You can harness this energy and teach the children some simple science concepts about air at the same time.  Air is invisible, but yet it fills space and moves objects around. We can’t see it, but we can devise experiments to prove that it does exist.

On the fence – Use large pieces of construction paper or bristol board for this activity. On a very windy day, the children take turns letting go of the paper near a fence and observing that it is held up against it by the force of the wind. You will have to help them determine that the wind is blowing in the right direction.

Go fly a kite – There are many commercial kites on the market to chose from, but with young children they get wrecked easily. I just make “kites” by tying a string to a plastic bag. The bag fills up with air and takes off.

Blow wind blow – Let the children choose materials that they think will blow around in the wind i.e. streamers, boas, newspapers, tissue paper. Take them outside and let them run around with the materials. Discuss which materials worked the best and fly around easiest. Light objects fly and heavy ones don’t. To emphasize the point, line up some heavier objects on the ground and observe that they do not move.

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