Materials: Thermometers (these can be optional)
Give your children a thermometer and spend a few minutes talking about how to use it. Stress the idea that you need to wait a certain amount of time to get an accurate reading (a great practice in patience). Present the challenge: Where is the warmest spot in the yard? Where is the coldest spot in the yard?
Notice the difference in temperature on different sides of objects (in the sun and shade). Also note the difference of temperature between light and dark objects.
During our discovery, we found dramatic differences in temperature, from 31.5 degrees in the snow to 65 degrees against the shed. A big part of this challenge for us was simply learning to read and work thermometers, but the idea of using 'real' equipment really made the twins feel like scientists. We also spent time using just our hands to compare the temperature differences. We were left with several observations:
- The shade is colder than the sun
- Dark colors are warmer
- Water was warmer than snow