Exploring raindrops and clouds in preschool

Here is just one way to bring weather concepts to life in your classroom!

In our morning greeting, the weather helper informed us that today’s weather was definitely going to be cold and rainy. It was a perfect day to explore raindrops and clouds at our rain making station…

Setting Up the Rain Station

As an extension of our discussions on Who Cares about the Weather?, we added a rain station to one of our tables. To set up our rain making station, I put cotton balls in one container and labeled it “clouds” and blue water in the second container and labeled it “rain.” The center naturally invited the children to use the cotton ball clouds to absorb the blue rain water and then squeeze the rain out of the clouds and back into the tub….

Building Fine Motor Skills

The children went right to work using our wooden tongs or their hands to pick up cotton ball clouds and soaking them in our blue rain water…

Expanding Weather Vocabulary

As the children explored the clouds and rainwater, we would stop by and talk with them about the words that were on the containers “rain” and “clouds” and promote discussion about how the children were using the cotton balls like “clouds” to absorb water and making their own rain as they squeeze all the water back out of the clouds…

Exploring Cause and Effect

The children came and went from the rain-making station all morning…

Enjoying the Sensory Experience

Sometimes we would have a large group gathered around having fun talking and laughing together and other times we would just have one or two children concentrating on the rain making experience…

Why we Love the Rain Making Station

This was such a simple process to put together and yet it was highly engaging and opened the door to great conversations about clouds and rain. The children used their fine motor skills to manipulate the clouds and squeeze the water and in the process, enjoyed the soothing experience of water play…

Available on Amazon

By |2018-12-12T12:43:37+00:00February 22nd, 2014|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. kristen February 22, 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Hi! Great idea! Did the blue water stain the children’s hands?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 23, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

      Hi Kristen,
      No, when you add a few drops of color to the water, the water dilutes the color and it does not stain hands.

  2. Jessica Mitchell February 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Great idea. Where did you get the red tongs/ practice chopsticks?

    Thank you,

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 23, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

      I purchased mine at our local Big Lots store but they are also available on Amazon. I painted ours red as they usually come in natural or bamboo colors.

  3. [email protected] February 23, 2014 at 7:34 am - Reply

    This is such a fantastic idea Deborah! We are making rain gauges from plastic bottles this week so I will incorporate this activity too I think. Such a brilliant way to stimulate thinking and discussion…and yet so simple. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Taylor February 23, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I love this idea! Where did you purchase your red plastic tongs? Thanks!

  5. Mary Catherine February 23, 2014 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I LOVE this idea, Deborah! As you said, it was simple to set up but gave the children so much! 🙂 I cannot wait to try this out.

  6. Marta February 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply


  7. Marcia Fowler February 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m sure the children love this rain activity!

  8. Stephanie Schuler February 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Great stuff, Deborah! Very imaginative thinking here! Hopefully the clean-up didn’t take too long!

  9. Heidi Butkus February 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Looks like so much fun, as usual!
    Heidi Butkus

  10. Primary Beginnings February 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    What a great Springtime activity! I can’t wait to try this with our kids!

  11. Jen April 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Love this! Where did you get the containers? Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Jen,
      The containers are fish tanks but we use them for all kinds of different processes in my classroom:)

  12. […] up a rain making station which will allow your kids to explore raindrops and clouds while working on fine motor […]

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