Learning about the world and the many things that occur within it are an important aspect of preschool curriculum. Preschool-aged children are often taught about the weather, as it affects daily life and the world. When teaching preschoolers about the weather, incorporate activities that focus on tornadoes, helping them to gain an understanding of this unique weather phenomenon.
Tornado in a Bottle
Make a tornado in a bottle with your preschool students. Provide your students with plastic bottles and help them fill the bottles with water. Allow them to place a few drops of dish soap in the water, along with some glitter. Tightly seal the caps back onto the bottles and show children how to hold their bottles by the lid and spin them very quickly in a circle. After spinning the bottles a few times, stop spinning them and watch as the bubbles from the dish soap and the glitter gather in the center of the bottle, forming what looks like a tornado.
Use literature as a means of teaching children about tornadoes. Fill your classroom library with a variety of different children's books that focus on tornadoes. Titles to consider include "Tornadoes!" by Gail Gibbons, "Twisters: A Book About Tornadoes" by Rick Thomas and "How Do Tornadoes Form?" by Suzanne Buckingham Slade. Present the books to children and allow them to look through them on their own or read them aloud. Discuss the contents of the books; ask children questions that relate to the information in each of the books. Compare and contrast the books.
Tornado Art Project
After reading about tornadoes and showing children different pictures of tornadoes, have them create their own artwork that illustrates a tornado. Provide children with crayons, markers, colored pencils and construction paper. Encourage them to use the art supplies to draw a picture of a tornado. They may simply draw a tornado or a tornado scene in which a tornado is moving across a landscape. There is no right or wrong way to do this activity; the goal is to have children express their understanding of this weather feature through art. Allow children to share their artwork.
Move Like Tornadoes
Get your students up and moving and promote gross motor-skill development with this activity. Play upbeat, lively music and encourage children to move around the room like tornadoes. Model how you would move around like a tornado; perhaps spinning in circles and then allow them to move around any way they think resembles a tornado moving.