Cloud Spotting Learning Tool Craft for Kids

The amazing Potatoes Jam created this wonderful and great simple cloud finder for kids! A wonderful craft idea for weather exploration! You can find Jam Potatoes on Instagram and Facebook, but in the meantime she’s sharing this wonderful Cloud detection learning tool with us here today!

How to make a cloud viewer
How to Create Your Own Cloud Spotter

Making your own cloud sight is super easy and all you need are simple supplies. Depending on the age of your children or the children in your care, you can keep it very simple, identify the 3 main cloud types, or go into more detail and add more cloud credentials. This makes a wonderful cloud identifier for kids – a perfect DIY Montesorri learning tool for kids.

I think this makes a wonderful year-round craft, but is especially good for anyone looking for DIY ideas for weather study units. I love that it removes the need to use something like a cloud ID app or a cloud ID website, and therefore removes the need for technology (although if you really want an app, This cloudspotter iphone app is awesome!. But it’s still a lot of practice for your preschooler or elementary school kid!

This craft would also be a fun camping idea! After all, obsessing over the weather when camping is a key activity, right?!

cloud identification wheel
A large cloud identification wheel from the Met office

Working with older children? Then try this free Cloud Identifier Printable from UK Met office! They also have a great printable bookmark too!

What ARE clouds?

In essences, clouds are water droplets or ice crystals “floating” in the sky. Pretty cool, hug?

More details on cloud formation and the causes of rain can be found on NASA websites!

Supplies must create a Cloud ID:

You can use your cloud visualization tool from your window or on the go
  • Cardboard
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • OPTIONAL: Glue stick and cloud prints* (The Pinay Homeschooler has a great set here)

I say cloud prints are optional, because you can also try drawing your own! Or better yet, start this project with kdis, taking your own cloud images if you can! But if you want to print some, you can do it quickly and easily by putting the cloud names into Google and searching Google’s image database. For example:

  • Cumulus
  • Stratus
  • Cirrus

NOTE: Please be aware of the copyrights to these photos and if you use them, do not use them in presentations or anything commercial

Top 10 clouds to identify

Clouds can generally be grouped by their position in the sky. Classification is therefore by altitude and all clouds have a Latin name. When you look at the “top 10 clouds” to know and identify, you have the following “cloud species”:

Low clouds – usually below 2,000m / 6,500ft

  • cumulus clouds,
  • the stratus,
  • stratocumulus clouds.

Mid level clouds – around 2,000m – 6,000m / 6,500ft to 20,000ft

  • altocumulus clouds,
  • nimbostratus clouds,
  • altostratus clouds.

High level clouds – at high altitude, so above 6,000 m/ 20,000 ft

  • cirrus clouds,
  • cirrocumulus clouds,
  • cirrostratus clouds.

And then you have –

  • Cumulonimbus

It’s like a “stack” or a “tower” of clouds, which crosses the lower, middle and upper atmosphere! Think of it as a tower rising into the sky!

Want to know more about these base clouds and also when you might see them? Jump over here, for a fantastic cloud info bonus! It has a great set of photographs and discusses sunny weather, thunderclouds/a thunderstorm and more.

Create your own cloud viewer

It is really very easy to create your DIY Cloud ID.

cardboard cloud watcher

1. Cut your cardboard to a size suitable for the age group of children you are working with. A4 is generally a good size.

2. Cut a smaller rectangle (about A6) from the top of your cardboard.

3. Print (or draw!) a few “classic” cloud types. Jam potatoes used:

  • cumulus clouds
  • Stratus Clouds
  • Cirrus

4. Cut them out and stick them on your Cloud Spotter. Be sure to leave room for cloud names and some basic facts.

types of clouds

5. Finally, add the cloud names and basic facts. Make these basic facts age specific. In this case:

  • Cumulus – fluffy, puffy clouds
  • Stratus – flat sheets or cloud streaks
  • Cirrus – feathery, wispy clouds

How to Use Your Cloud Spotting Learning Tool

Time to go cloud watching!

Go for a walk

I love that Jam Potatoes took the kids for a walk with their cloud watchers. Unfortunately (?!), that day the sky was brilliant blue with no clouds in sight. Sod’s Law! Ha.

cloud detection

So Jam Potatoes, now keep the cloud viewers on the windowsill, so his proteges can come and use them, whenever they want! I love it!

Also, go out at different times of the day and see what clouds you can spot – sunsets are a nice time to see different clouds than you might find at midday or sunrise!

Extension ideas for all cloud business ideas:

IF you are looking for other fabulous cloud activities for preschoolers and kids, or other cloud STEM activities, why not give them a try?

  • cloud in a jar
  • Cloud Identification Worksheet (COMING SOON!!)
  • Cloud identification game (online game but fun)
  • Printable Cloud Viewer
  • Science Sparks Weather Science Experiments
  • Have fun with “egg clouds” – also from Science Sparks
  • Creative cloud detection – what can you “see”? !

Some fun cloud crafts (but no learning activities) here:

cloud craft ideas

We have lots of fun “Weather Inspired Crafts” that you can check out here:

weather craft

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