Tuesday, 23 July 2013

When bad weather turns into great learning!

Today I woke up full of ideas and plans to begin our activities and learning about tennis (following Andy Murray's spectacular performance not that long ago which many of the children were aware of and interested in) but the weather had other ideas. As I drove to work I watched the dark clouds roll overhead and saw a few spots of rain. "Not to worry" I thought, "we can still go onto the courts and throw the balls about, a bit of rain wont stop us!"

I arrived at work and before I started organising my plans, I began by setting up our computer so that the children could watch a news clip about William and Kate's baby boy (Congratulations!) We got into a discussion about what we thought the baby should be named and the children had some interesting suggestions, the most popular of which seemed to be Jesus!

By this time, the rain had really started to pour down and I was not feeling quite so optimistic about using the tennis courts. I was looking out of the window, deciding whether to brave taking a group out into the garden for splishy splashy puddle play when... A huge rumble of thunder clapped overhead... and another one... and another, all in a short space of time! 
A couple of the children were feeling a little bit frightened at this point, but most were amazed at this dramatic weather. Then we began to see the lightning and the children decided that they wanted to stand at the door and watch.
What happened next was like something out of a cartoon: The children were all stood at the door, watching the rain tumble down and watching for lightning. They were getting used to the thunder by now and were saying to each other "we're not scared are we? We like the thunder and lightning" 
Suddenly all of the nursery lights flickered off and on and then there was the LOUDEST clap of thunder that you've ever heard! Together as one, the children turned with looks of surprise and panic on their faces and ran into the arms of my colleague and I who were standing just behind them. It took a moment but when they were all feeling safe again they began to laugh. 

What a fantastic opportunity for some learning! We used the computer to find out what causes the thunder sound and then the children had a go at creating their own thunder sounds by clapping their hands and stamping their feet. They also listened to other sounds that they could hear around the nursery and spoke about whether they were loud sounds or quiet sounds. We then spoke about the lightning and found out what causes it. We talked about electricity and why the children thought the lights had flickered and we even talked about how light travels to our eyes faster than sound travels to our ears!

The children were very disappointed when the rain stopped and continued to ask throughout the day if the thunder would be back!
It just goes to show, even though I wasn't able to carry out my plans, the children experienced something really exciting and were able to learn so much through it!
Hooray for Scottish Summers!

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