The Big Explorer was pretty excited by the weather station he received for Christmas last year. The mild winters we have in Southern California meant we could put it right to use. (In the absence of snow or freezing temperatures, a backyard weather station can be operational any time of the year.)
Data from weather stations helps forecasters to see patterns in the weather, which helps them to forecast what is likely to happen in the next hours and days.
The Explorers and I talk about the weather every day. We check the temperature on my iPhone, then step out our door and feel the temperature. We look to the sky to see if it is cloudy, sunny, gray or overcast. This information helps us gauge what the day’s weather has in store.
Our backyard weather station is letting us take our basic observations to the next level.
The Green Science Weather Station can be found online for less than $20. The kit features a wind vane, an anemometer, a thermometer and a rain gauge. With it, kids can discover a lot about weather, including:
- The names and functions of some simple instruments for measuring weather.
- How much rain has fallen.
- A rough measure of wind flow (calm, light, breezy, strong).
- Which general direction the wind is blowing.
- Air temperature.
There’s also an option to experiment with the greenhouse effect and create a terrarium, though we haven’t tried either.
Assembly is simple and the entire station screws into a 1-liter plastic bottle (which you fill partially to keep the weather station weighted down).
Once your weather station is in place, kids can grab a notebook and start taking readings. Compare readings from one time of the day to the next, or from one week to the next. Can you and your kids discover any patterns to help you predict the weather?
I’ve shared a few more ideas for learning about weather in your own backyard over on Childhood 101.
Note: The Big Explorer received the Green Science Weather Station as a gift from a family member. The manufacturer had no idea I would feature the product here. All opinions expressed are my own (and those of The Explorers). You can read my complete disclosure policy for more information.