Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

12th March 2013

Feeling gloomy about all the rain we seem to have been experiencing in the UK? Imagine living in Arica in Chile, South America, one of the driest places on earth. Less than 1mm of rain falls per year, meaning that a coffee cup would take around 100 years to fill. Almost makes you grateful for grey skies! World Meteorological Day falls on 23rd March and is an opportunity to find out more about the wonderful world of weather with your kids.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

12th March 2013

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

12th March 2013

Although it seems as if we are stuck in a bit of an ice age here at the moment, kids who love skating on ponds will be amazed to learn that ice in the Antarctic is more than 2.5 miles thick in places – no worries about falling through the ice there, then!

If your family has been busy making snowmen in the recent snowfall, tell them about Angus – the tallest snowman ever built. Measuring more than 34 metres in height, he was so big he had trees for arms and car tyres for a mouth. People from the town of Bethel, in Maine, USA, spent 14 days building him in February 1999.

These facts were taken from the Met Office website, which has exciting pages for kids, including fun experiments to try at home. Here are a few of our favourites, check out the great website for more:

MAKE A CLOUD IN A GLASS

Clouds in the real world form in warm, moist air. You can make something similar happen using things you can find around your home.

What you will need:

A clear glass or similar see-through container Warm water Ice Metal or foil dish

What to do:

1. Place the ice into the metal dish.
2. Pour a small amount of warm water into the bottom of the glass.
3. Wait until the dish is really cold. Then place it on top of the glass.
4. Watch the inside carefully. You should see a ‘cloud’ form near the top of the glass.

In the real world, clouds form when warm, moist air, like that in your glass, is cooled (your ice). When it is cooled it condenses into tiny water droplets, which appear as clouds.

WATER CYCLE IN A BOWL

Our rain originally came from oceans, seas and lakes. It became clouds and eventually fell on us as rain.

What you will need:

A large bowl A small yogurt pot or plastic cup Clingfilm Water Small weight or a few coins Sunny window sill

What to do:

1. Take the large bowl and fill it with several centimetres of water.
2. Place your small pot in the centre of the bowl of water, making sure not to get any water inside it.
3. Cover the large bowl with clingfilm and fasten this down securely to the side of the bowl.
4. Put a weight on top of the clingfilm, over the centre of the small pot to push the clingfilm down into it slightly.
5. Place your experiment on a warm sunny window sill and leave for a few days.

You should find that the heat of the sun evaporates the water, which rises, condenses on the cool plastic, and falls into the small container. This is a small version of what happens in the real water cycle.

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