This cloud wheel with a cloud identification guide will help children to observe weather and learn to identify ten of the most common types of clouds.
Cirrus. Cumulus. Nimbostratus.
I have always found the names of clouds fascinating. Why, they sound almost magical. I can just imagine Harry Potter using a “nimbostratus” spell!
And there are also those special people, who would gaze thoughtfully up in the sky and utter something like, “I see cumulonimbus clouds. There will be rain soon.” Then, sure enough, within half an hour, we’d get a thunderstorm. Really seems like magic. Science often does, until you learn to understand the inner mechanisms of how things work.
Weather observation is one scientific interaction we have with nature on a daily basis. The state of the sky is the first thing most of us note upon waking up to get an idea of what to wear for the day, and then again, whenever we head outdoors. Do we need sunscreen or an umbrella? A jacket or a short-sleeved shirt? And clouds do play a big role in our understanding of what the weather is like. While the weather forecast seldom goes in more detail than “cloudy” or “sunny with clouds”, there is a great variety of clouds! Some of them appear on a clear day, and some come with fog or rain.
This cloud wheel will introduce children to ten of the most common cloud types. Attach the cloud wheel onto the fridge or by a window where you can observe the sky well. Make it a part of the routine to come and adjust the wheel to the right cloud type. Or put together a portable cloud identification guide and bring it in your pocket. We put ours into the glove box of our car, so that we can identify clouds as we drive.
Materials for Making the Cloud Wheel
Cloud Wheel Tutorial
Print the design, then cut out the wheel and the arrow.
Punch a hole in the arrow. Punch a hole in the middle of the wheel. You can use a hole-punch for the arrow and the tip of the scissors for the wheel.
Fasten the arrow and the wheel together with a split pin/brad.
Cloud Identification Guide Tutorial
The cloud wheel will benefit from using the cloud cards that help with identifying the types of clouds in the sky.
The cloud cards can also be put together in a little book for bringing on outings. Punch a hole in the corner of each card and slip them onto a key-ring or a bookbinding ring. You might also consider laminating them – there is the distinct risk of rain when observing clouds!
You can also purchase it as a part of our Nature STEAM bundle along with other nature-inspired printable projects.
Thank you for reading!