Talking About Wind and Air


  • To use expressive and increasingly complex language, especially action words
  • To build vocabulary
  • To connect language development and science

Fan, straws, and a variety of small, common objects of differing weights


Literature Suggestion
Read Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets, or any book that features wind and weather.


Review safety rules children must follow when around a fan. Turn on a fan. Demonstrate how the air can move things like hair or a scarf. Make sure children understand that wind is moving air.


  • Read the book. Help the children use any rich, descriptive words in the book to tell what the wind did, such as bang, burst, scatter, and howl.
  • Introduce a blowing game. Tell children they are going to pretend to be the wind by blowing air through a straw and making things move across a table.
  • Gather children around a table. (If necessary, organize them into small groups.) Give each child a straw.
  • Place a variety of small objects on the table, one at a time. Ask children to take turns trying to blow each item across the table, using their straws. Have the children discuss what happens. Help them expand their vocabulary by using and defining lots of descriptive words, such as floats, bumps, glides, rolls, heavy, and light.
  • You may want to make a chart that shows what moved the farthest, the fastest, the slowest, etc.
Have the children name things they have seen blow in the wind and record them in words and pictures on the board or on chart paper. (Examples: pinwheels, flags, papers)

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child uses a rich variety of words to describe what happens in the book and during the activity.
  • In Process - Child offers only one or two simple observations about the book and the activity.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not join in the discussion about the book; may name objects, but does not yet describe what happens when he or she attempts to blow.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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