Club Activities: Weather Beat

In “Weather Beat,” kids explore the unique characteristics of heat, wind, and water in cities. These five days of activities weave together PLUM LANDING animations with outdoor exploration, physical and digital games, and hands-on activities; note that the first two activities can be swapped for later ones if weather conditions aren’t suitable. Each day offers about one hour of programming.

Day 1

Start your Weather Beat explorations by introducing your kids to PLUM LANDING and something every kid has felt but never seen: wind! (If it’s perfectly calm today, move this activity to Day 3 and start with Day 2.) Have kids watch The Manta Ray Mystery, a short video about a very windy city. Then, head outdoors to explore today’s wind with the Wild Wild hands-on activity and bubble-floating contest. If time permits, wrap up your day by completing one of the “Explore Some More” suggestions listed with the video or activity.

Day 2

Today is all about heat—and why cities and towns have plenty of it. (This activity works best on a warm or hot day. If today is overcast or cool, swap this activity with Day 3. If it’s too cold all week, skip this activity.) Watch Cook an Egg!, a video about how some city and town surfaces become sizzling hot. Then, go outdoors and experiment with heat and water on various paved and natural surfaces with the City Heat Island hands-on activity. This activity works best on a warm day. Skip it if it’s too cold.

Day 3

Today’s topic is water—frozen and unfrozen—and how it moves and impacts animals and plants. Watch the short video Where Does All the Snow Go? to introduce the benefits and disadvantages of frozen water—that is snow, and how it is removed from cities and towns. Discuss the Conversation Starters and do the “Ice Sculptures” activity under “Explore Some More.” Then, have kids explore how water that isn’t frozen flows through an area from a high to a low point with the Build a Watershed hands-on activity.

Day 4

Today, continue your water investigations by tracking water flow through a city or town. Start by watching The Hidden Alligator Mystery, a short video about a thrilling boat ride through underground storm-drain tunnels. Then, head outdoors to do the H2O on the Go hands-on activities and, time permitting, one of the “Explore Some More” activities.

Day 5

Wrap up your Weather Beat activities by focusing on observing weather changes, day to day. First, watch Cooper’s Favorite Place in Nature, a short video about observing clouds from a fire escape, and discuss good weather-spotting places and strategies. Review the “How Fast Is Today’s Wind?” handout from the Wild Wind activity and compare today’s wind speed and direction to Day 1 observations. Do the imaginative “DIY Beaufort Scale” activity under “Explore Some More.” Then, end by staging a rematch of the “Follow the Wind” bubble contest—under today’s wind conditions, even if it’s perfectly calm.

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