Spring | Air: Infants & Toddlers

Weather: What Do You Feel?

Summary: Plants react differently to different kinds of weather conditions: hot, cold, wet, and dry. Tiny gardeners will explore the sensory aspects of weather. They will experience what it is like to be a plant under different weather conditions and build vocabulary that will help them express what they are feeling.

Pre-Visit Planning:

  • Gather: A warm jacket, ice cubes or ice pack, a watering can, and sandpaper
  • Explore: “Tiger in a Tropical Storm” by Henri Rousseau—How do you think the tiger feels? Is he dry? Is he wet? What are the plants doing?
  • Read: Little Cloud by Eric Carle

In the Garden:

The first step to creating a meteorologist begins by looking. Today, we’re going to observe current weather patterns and create different weather conditions with some easy to find objects. As you move around the garden, talk to your tiny gardener about what he or she is feeling using descriptive words like hot, cold, dry, and wet when describing what you feel.

Questions to Explore:

-Can you imagine what plants might do in different weather conditions? Curl up? Open their leaves?

-How do you think plants feel in the rain? In the sun?

-What does it feel like to be hot? Cold? Wet? Dry? 


  • Gather the materials you brought and find a spot for your gardener to pretend to be a plant. 
  • Have your gardener wear the warm jacket. How does it feel? How might a plant with the hot sun beaming down on it feel? 
  • Have your gardener hold the ice cubes. How does this feel? How might a plant feel on a cold day? 
  • Continue these observations and comparisons using the watering can to simulate a rainy day and the sandpaper to simulate a dry day. 

A first step to gardening is also looking! Allow your tiny gardener to practice some descriptive vocabulary by having him or her describe to you what the weather feels like today in the garden. Based on the observations about how your tiny gardener felt as a plant, ask him or her how the plants in the garden might be feeling today (for example, if the sun is out and it is warm, he or she might compare that to the feeling of being in the jacket). 

Beyond the Garden | Weather Everywhere! 

  • Continue to practice new vocabulary words, comparisons, and observations by feeling the plants in your own garden, the grass at the park, and trees all around town. 
  • Give your tiny gardener the opportunity to talk about what the weather feels like throughout the week using his or her describing words and talk about what these different plants feel like each day throughout the week. 
  • You can start a weather journal and draw pictures of the weather throughout the week. 

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials

Weather for Kids: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/ 

Sensory Clouds: Squirt some shaving cream onto a washable surface, drip a few drops of liquid watercolors onto the clouds, run your fingers through the clouds and enjoy! Make swirls and storms. You can add different tools for moving the cream around such as plastic animals—maybe recreate the Rousseau painting? 

Note for Parents:
Each lesson suggests you explore a piece of artwork and read a specific book with your child. The artwork and books are easily available for view with an online search. However, these suggestions are not necessary to complete the lessons.

Guiding Principles


Learning, though not always visible, is always happening. The lessons are designed using inquiry as a base. Rather than “right answers” be more concerned with asking good questions.


Things may not go as planned. The lessons are designed to be used in whatever way works best for you. You can use all of the lesson or just pull a piece out of it.


Planting and cultivating a garden is believing in possibility. The lessons are designed to generate excitement about the future.


Each lesson includes a way to take the learning out into the community for more learning and more connection.


When a young child’s innate curiosity is unleashed in a garden the possibilities are endless. Any topic is open for exploration.


You will get dirty. There will be bugs.