The amazing Jam Potatoes created this wonderful and super simple cloud view finder for kids! A wonderful craft idea for weather exploration! You can find Jam Potatoes on Instagram and Facebook, but in the mean time, she shares this wonderful Cloud Spotting Learning Tool with us here today!
Making your own cloud view finder is super easy and you only need simple supplies. Depending on the age of your children or the children in your care, you can keep it super simple, to the main 3 cloud types to identify or go into more detail and add more cloud identifier information. This makes a wonderful cloud identifier for kids – a perfect Montesorri learning tool for children to make yourself.
I think this makes a wonderful craft all year round, but is especially suitable for any one looking for craft ideas for weather study units. I love that it removes the need of using something like a cloud identifier app or a cloud identification website, and therefore removes the need for technology (though if you do really want an app, this cloudspotter iphone app is great!. But is still very much hands on for your preschooler or elementary school child!
This craft would also be a fun camping craft idea! Afterall, obsessing about the weather when camping is a key activity, right?!
Working with older kids? Then try this free Cloud Identifier Printable from the UK Met office! They also have a great bookmark printable too!
What ARE Clouds?
In essences, clouds are water droplets or ice crystals “floating” in the sky. Pretty cool, hugh?
More detail on how clouds form and what causes rain, can be found on Nasa’s websites!
Supplies need to make a Cloud Identifier:
- OPTIONAL: Glue stick & cloud print offs* (The Pinay Homeschooler has a great set here)
I say that the cloud print offs are optional, as you can also have a go at drawing your own! Or better still, start off this project with the kdis, by taking your own cloud images if you can! But if you want to print some off.. you can quickly and easily do so by popping the cloud names into google and searching the google image database. For example:
NOTE: stay mindful of copyrights on these photos and if using them, do not use in presentations or anything commercial
Top 10 Clouds to Identify
Clouds generally can be group by their position in the sky. So the classification is by altitude and all clouds have a latin name. When looking at the “top 10 clouds” to learn about and identify, you have the following “cloud species”:
Low level clouds – usually below 2000m/ 6500 feet
- cumulus clouds,
- stratus clouds,
- stratocumulus clouds.
Mid level clouds – around 2000m – 6000m / 6500 feet to 20,000 feet
- altocumulus clouds,
- nimbostratus clouds,
- altostratus clouds.
High-level clouds – at high altitudes, so above 6000m/ 20,000 feet
- cirrus clouds,
- cirrocumulus clouds,
- cirrostratus clouds.
And then you have –
- Cumulonimbus cloud
This is like a “stack” or a “tower” of clouds, that crosses low, middle, and upper atmosphere! Think of it like a tower block rising into the sky!
Want to learn more about these basic clouds and also when you might see them? Hop over here, for a fantastic bonus info all about clouds! It has a great set of photographs and discusses sunny weather, storm clouds/ a thunderstorm and more.
Make your own Cloud Viewer
It really is very easy to make your DIY Cloud Identifier.
1. Cut your cardboard down to a size that is suitable for the age group of the children you are working with. A4 is generally a good size.
2. Cut a smaller rectangle (approx A6) size out of the top of your cardboard.
3. Print off (or draw!) some “classic” cloud types. Jam Potatoes used:
- Cumulus Clouds
- Stratus Clouds
- Cirrus Clouds
4. Cut these out and stick them to your Cloud Spotter. Be sure to leave some space for the names of the clouds and some basic facts.
5. Finally – add cloud names and basic facts. Make these basic facts age speficic. In this case:
- Cumulus – fluffy & puffy clouds
- Stratus – flat sheets or streaks of clouds
- Cirrus – feathery & wispy clouds
How to use your Cloud Spotting learning Tool
Time to go cloud spotting!
I love that Jam Potatoes took the children out for a walk with their cloud spotters. Unfortunately (?!), that day, the sky was a bright brigh blue, without a cloud in sight. Sod’s law! Ha.
So Jam Potatoes, now keeps the cloud viewers on the window sill, so her charges can come and use them, when every they fancy! I love it!
Also, do go out at different times of the day and see what clouds you can spot – sunsets are a lovely time to see different clouds to what you might find at mid day or sunrise!
Extension ideas for any Cloud Activity Ideas:
IF you are looking for more fabulous Cloud activities for preschoolers and kids, or some more Cloud STEM activity, why not give these a try?
- Cloud in a jar
- Cloud identification worksheet (COMING SOON!!)
- Cloud identification game (online game but fun)
- Cloud viewer printable
- Weather Science Experiments from Science Sparks
- Have some fun with “eggy clouds” – also from Science Sparks
- Creative cloud spotting – what can you “see”?!
Some fun cloud crafts (but not learning activities) here:
We have lots of fun “Weather Inspired Crafts” you can take a peak at here: