Circle time provides a moment for toddlers to learn, listen, sing, and just have fun. Spring is a great time for activities about rain. If you are a preschool, or early head start teacher, consider these circle time activities about rain. These ideas can also be used for toddler lesson plans.
Count the Clouds, Raindrops, and Rainbows
Print off, or draw, several pictures of clouds, raindrops and rainbows. If possible, laminate them and attach them to craft sticks. This allows you to reuse them, and do the activity once a week during Spring. Provide each toddler with two pictures.
Then announce, “Today we are going to count how many clouds, rainbows and raindrops we have! Raise your picture if you have a rainbow! Okay, let’s count them! One, two, three, four! We have four rainbows!” Repeat with the raindrops and clouds. Obviously, teachers will need to help some toddlers raise their pictures.
This activity not only introduces clouds, raindrops and rainbows, it stimulates their ability to count. With lots of repetition, toddlers will eventually be able to count to five.
Plant a Bean and Let Students Pour “Rain”
Another idea is to plant a pinto bean or two. Pour soil into a small cup or pot. Add one to three pinto beans. Then allow toddlers a chance to water it with a watering can. Explain that the water is like rain. Announce, “Plants need rain to grow! You did a great job at pouring rain on it! Lets put it on the windowsill and check every day to see if it has grown!”
Circle time is a great chance to encourage your students to talk. Ask questions such as, “Have you ever seen rain?”, “Have you ever been scared when it has rained?”, “Do you like to jump in puddles?” For younger toddlers, it is best to just ask yes or no questions. However for older students you could ask questions such as, “If we didn’t get rain for a long time, what do you think would happen?”
Show pictures of rain around the world.
Print off at least five images of rain in various places. Search on Google images for “rain Hawaii”, “rain Washington state”, etc. Show the pictures to the students and discuss them. For example, show a picture of it raining in the mountains and say, “Look, this is a picture of rain in the Cascade mountains! Say ‘mountain”! Good job!”
Talk about rainbows.
If you happen to have a rainbow sun catcher handy, show it to your students. If not, show a picture or drawing of a rainbow. Then discuss rainbows. Name off each color in the rainbow, and explain that the colors are always in that order. Ask you students if they have ever seen a rainbow after a rainstorm.
Sing “Pitter Patter Raindrops”
Another circle time idea is to sing the song, “Pitter Patter Raindrops.” The lyrics are, “Pitter patter raindrops falling from the sky, Here’s my umbrella, hold it high, When the rain is over, the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to grow, Over the rainbow.” For the tune and hand motions, watch this Youtube video here .
Read a book about rain.
Circle time is a great opportunity to read a story. Your local library should have several books about rain to check out. One to try is Let It Rain by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.
These are just seven great circle time activities about rain. For more ideas, please read “Circle Time Activities for Babies and Toddlers.” Also, browse “Preschool Circle Time Activities About Flowers.” You might also check out “Circle Time Songs for Toddlers and Preschoolers.” Happy Teaching!