3 interactive weather science experiments for first grade

Weather science experiments are some of my very favorite to do with kindergarten and first grade kids. They are engaging, they provide powerful learning opportunities, and kids LOVE weather. Here are 3 kid-approved weather science activities that are easy to prep and sure to have your kids hooked on weather science!

Weather Science Experiments: photo collage of all 3 interactive weather experiments

did my shadow move?

This experiment will blow your kid’s minds! Every time I do this science activity with first graders, they are just so surprised, which makes it even more meaningful and exciting for everyone.

We do this shadow science experiment when we are learning about the patterns of the sun and day and night cycles. It is one of the first things we do before we jump into learning about the sun and the earth’s orbit.

Kids partner up and trace their shadows at the very beginning of the day and then make predictions on what will happen to their shadows.

At the end of the day, we come back out and retrace our shadows. And before they have even traced it out, get ready for the screams and giggles! It is SO much fun watching them realize their shadows have “moved!”

This shadow experiment blog post gives all of the nitty gritty details for how we manage this weather science experiment, how we record our shadow observations, and what we use to follow up with some powerful learning about earth’s orbit and the sun!

Weather Science Experiments: tracing our shadows outside

clouds in a jar

It took me a few years of teaching first grade weather lessons to get brave enough to do this weather science experiment with kids… and y’all! I have NO idea what I was scared of.

This weather science activity is super low prep with another super high learning impact! And anytime you can get shaving cream in the classroom… kids know you’re gonna have a good time! #iykyk

In this cloud in a jar weather science experiment, kids will fill their clear cup with water. We will put a shaving cream “cloud” on top of their cup of water.

Then, the kids will take turns dropping blue water on top of the “cloud.” They will predict and record how many water drops it will take before the cloud begins to rain.

Weather Science Experiments: Cloud in a Jar

This is another weather experiment where kids OOOOOH and AHHHHH when it starts raining in their cup. And it’s a powerful launch into a discussion about condensation and what makes a cloud finally start to rain!

The materials list and all the rainy details are in this cloud in a jar rain experiment post.

Catch a rainbow

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this last weather science experiment is another one that is a real winner with a super high “giggle and wow” factor! Seriously!

In this rainbow science experiment, kids will shine a flashlight through a glass of water to try and catch a rainbow on their paper.

Weather Science Experiments: Catch a rainbow

Must have for this weather science activity: classroom lights off! So, yeah, your kids will already be thrilled because turning the classroom lights off is like magic around here! 🙂

Rainbows, rain, and the water cycle are a big part of our first grade weather unit. But I have also done this experiment with preschoolers at church when we were learning about Noah’s Ark and it was easy for my 3-5 year olds too! (We just didn’t do all the writing!) This is such a great weather experiment for a wide age range of kiddos! Read all the extra details on the catch a rainbow science experiment here.

You can find all of these weather science experiments in this first grade weather unit. And you’ll find the catch a rainbow science experiment in this kindergarten Next Gen Science weather unit along with several other weather experiments!

First Grade Weather Unit Cover Image: click to purchase
Kindergarten Weather Unit Cover Image: click to purchase

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