I’ve noticed more and more the last few weeks how important it is to teach our little ones about the weather and the seasons. This is the first year that I feel like my littles (age 3) have really needed help transitioning from summer to fall and fall to winter. Why can’t we all wear tank-tops and magical Elsa dresses on a hike when it is 30 degrees out, they ask?! It has been a bit of a battle as the weather gets colder (and my children get older) but I’ve noticed that bringing daily weather chats into our morning has helped significantly.
We have a special little morning routine that revolves around our Spanish learning (more detail in Series 3 of Con mi Familia!) and our weather wheel has been a big part of this. One day I dream of making a wooden one but this will do for now and is still special and loved. This game isn’t necessarily part of the morning routine but it is an independent work station that I will set out every now and then for them to practice their Spanish and their matching skills.
I traced out a circle onto water color paper and just eye-balled the dividing lines to make the wheel – it isn’t perfect and totally doesn’t have to be! Then I had fun doing some painting on my own to add some color to it and drew the little weather symbols. For the rocks, I painted the matching symbols with acrylic paint and let them dry overnight.
I just had it set out one day, the wheel and the painted rocks, with one rock on the matching spot and they ran over to it to see what it was. I explained that as we put the matching rock on the wheel, we should try what the weather is (en español but I don’t force it too much). It was perfect! Not a big production, not a huge craft, but they were both speaking in Spanish and having fun. I loved how they worked together, when one little put el viento on the nieve spot she said oh that isn’t viento es nieve and they worked together to find the right spot. I just stepped back and let them work for about 10 minutes and when they were done, they simply put it away for another day.
I love activities like this because you don’t need to spend money or too much time to get it set up but the reward for language skills and life skills is huge. This would be great for teaching children the weather words en español and is an amazing way to encourage them to speak with you without adding too much pressure. In my home it is always an invitation and never a forced thing (you want it to be fun, right?!) and I often just focus on myself modeling it and trust that they are picking it up in their own way.
Spanish weather words we practiced:
Hace sol (ah-seh sohl) – It’s sunny
Hace viento (ah-seh byehn-toh) – It’s windy
Está nevando (ehs-tah neh-bahn-doh) – It’s snowing
Está lloviendo (ehs-tah yoh-byehn-doh) – It’s raining
Hay tormenta (ay tohr-mehn-tah) – It’s stormy
Está nublado (ehs-tah noo-blah-doh) – It’s cloudy
Want to find out more ways to teach about el tiempo en español to your littles?! Join my play-based Spanish learning course Con mi Familia!