Education and
Public Engagement
at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Explore Earth's Climate

Fastest Dresser

Overview

Children ages 5 to 7 race the clock to prepare for a given day’s weather! Using an almanac, a facilitator announces a type of weather and children quickly dress in the clothing and gear appropriate for that type of weather., in this 15 minute activity.

What's the Point?

Materials

For the Facilitator

For Each Group of 10-15 Children

Supporting Media

Handouts

Weather Diary
The large grid layout and images on this simple weather journal may appeal to ages five to eight. Show the children how to note the wind’s direction in their journals.

Daily Forecast Flyer
Customize a flyer of the weather forecast at your location and print it out. Children will appreciate the easy-to-understand graphics, and adults will find a wealth of local, regional, and global information on this single page.

Preparation

Activity

  1. Share ideas and knowledge.
    • Introduce yourself and the library. Help the children learn each other’s names (if they don’t already).
    • Frame the activity with the main message:  Weather on Earth is always changing, and we prepare for it on a daily basis by getting dressed.
    • Invite the children to talk about what they already know about weather, what they’ve experienced at home and how it influences their daily lives.  Use open-ended questions and invite the children to talk with you and each other.

    Young children have built an understanding of weather through direct experiences with wind, clouds, rain and snow, and heat and cold. Use discussion to help them start to think about these prior experiences and build new understandings about the tools that scientists use to understand wind (and more broadly, changes in weather). Some conversation-starters are:

    • What is today’s weather like?
    • What would be the opposite type of weather? What other kinds of weather are there?
    • How does the weather affect what you do every day?
    • Do you think that today’s weather “normal” for this season?
    • What do you think the weather will be like tomorrow and why?
    • What kinds of weather instruments have you seen at your home or in the community? Does your family have a wind vane or wind chime at home? A thermometer? A rain gauge?

  2. Race to dress for the “weather”! Read a random selection from the almanac and announce a type of weather that the area experienced at some time in the past. Challenge the children to select from a variety of clothing and accessory options and dress themselves appropriately. The quickest dresser wins!  After each race, have the children discuss when they usually dress that way (e.g. during a certain month or season). Repeat the process several times (at least once for each type of weather gear:  hot, wet, cold/snow).

  3. Optional:  Race to dress for the forecasted weather!  Read a selection from the current weather forecast and invite the children to race again.  Specifically call out any major changes that are predicted, such as warm fronts, cold fronts, or storms.  After each race, have the children discuss how they might dress differently in the coming months, as the seasons change.

  4. Conclude. While some of us may very quick at getting dressed for the day, we all have to consider the day’s weather when choosing our clothes. Our community usually has certain kinds of weather in each season, and weather records, like those found in almanacs, show what the weather has been like in the past.