Positive Ways to Talk to Kids About the Weather

by Josée

The way we talk to our kids about the weather has a big impact on their interest in playing outside. When we talk about the weather negatively, using it as an excuse to stay inside or blaming it for thwarting our plans, our kids learn to do the same thing. Our kids are really good at copying us!

However, when we talk about the weather in positive ways, we are teaching our kids that there is no bad weather. There are only many different types of good weather: rain, snow, wind, cloud, fog, cold, hot…

Unless there is a severe weather warning in place, kids can play outside in all types of weather. What’s more, developing a positive mindset around weather helps our kids learn resilience, preparedness and flexibility which will benefit them throughout their life. Hurrah!

Quick Tips for Talking to Kids About the Weather:

Tip #1: Describe the weather in simple, factual and/or neutral to positive words.

Tip #2: Ignite curiosity and wonder about the weather with questions and possible outdoor activities.

Bonus Tip: Dress appropriately for the weather and have fun outside!

Read: Keeping Kids Warm in the Winter with Base Layers

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If it’s COLD try saying…

➡ The thermometer says it’s below 0°C (32°F) outside. I wonder what Jack Frost has been up to outside? Let’s go find out.

➡ Look! The ground is sparkling with frost. Today is the perfect day for drinking hot chocolate outside.

➡ Come and peek out the font door! Can you see your breath? That means we need to wear our warm clothing today.

Cold weather outdoor prompts:

  • Go outside on a fall or winter scavenger hunt.
  • Gather ice and icicles from puddles, along small streams or around your home and make ice sculptures.
  • Make an ice lantern or an ice sun-catcher using bit of nature collected from around your yard.
  • Draw pictures on frosty surfaces using your fingers or some wet paintbrushes.

If it’s RAINING try saying…

➡ I see rain falling. Today is a great day for jumping into puddles with our rubber boots.  

➡ Rain is wonderful for plants and animals. Let’s go outside and play in the rain.

➡ Oh my! All this rain is perfect for making mud pies.

Outdoor prompts for rainy weather:

  • Look for worms that have come out to enjoy the rain. Are they coming up to breathe? To migrate? What do you think?
  • Search for puddles to make big splashes.
  • Try to catch raindrops on your tongue.
  • Make a watercolour painting using raindrops, you can even make your own nature paintbrushes!

If it’s WINDY try saying…

➡ Can you see the trees swaying in the wind? Today would be great day to fly a kite.

➡ The wind is swirling leaves through the air. Let’s go see if we can catch them.

➡ Did you know that there are different types of wind? Let’s go outside and see what kind of wind is blowing today.

Outdoor prompts for windy weather:

  • Listen to different sounds that wind can make. What do you hear?
  • Make a kite, a leaf pin-wheel and an up-cycled wind sock to play with in the wind.
  • Discover how the wind spreads seeds. Collect fluffy seeds like dandelion heads or milkweed pods and let the wind carry them away.
  • Blow bubbles and see the wind carry them away.

If it’s SNOWING try saying…

➡ Wow! Look at all those beautiful snowflakes. Let’s go outside and see if we can catch some on our tongues.

➡ The ground is covered in snow. It’s a perfect day for sledding. 

➡ This sticky snow is just what we need to build a snowman.

Outdoor prompts for snowy weather:

  • Take a closer look at snowflakes. How many different shapes you can find?
  • Look for animal footprints in the snow. How many different types of footprints can you find?
  • Build something out our of snow like a snowman, a Swedish snowball lantern, a snow sculpture or a snowfort.
  • Enjoy snowy sports and activities like sledding, snowshoeing and skiing.

If it’s CLOUDY try saying…

➡ The sun is hiding behind the clouds. Today would be a great day to look for shapes in the clouds.

➡ Wow! Those clouds are moving fast. Let’s go watch them.

➡ There’s fog outside! We can go walking through clouds.

Outdoor prompts for cloudy weather:

  • Look for shapes, animals and face in the clouds. What do you see?
  • There are many different types of clouds. What kind of clouds can you spot in the sky? Are they high up and low down?
  • How do clouds float? What do clouds taste like? Be curious.
  • Fog is a cloud that is touching the ground. Go walk through a cloud!

It’s HOT outside try saying…

➡ The sun is warm today. Let’s go outside and play in some water.

➡ Plants grow big in hot weather. Let’s go outside and plant something.

➡ The thermometer says it’s over 30°C (86°F). Today is the perfect day to enjoy a frozen treat outside!

Outdoor prompts for hot weather:

  • Stay cool by playing with water.
  • Get those hand dirty and plant something (anything) outside.
  • Paint on outdoor surfaces with water. What is happening to the water? Where is it going?

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