My daughter and I often closely follow weather—hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, and more—probably much like your family!
And, based on her questions and fears, I quickly realized we needed more discussion on weather disasters, why they happen, and how we can help others when weather or other disasters strike.
Not only is covering weather for kids (and natural disasters) a great way to learn about the science behind the weather, but it may also help kids better understand when weather-related disasters strike and what we can all do to help.
But first, let’s start at the beginning . . .
DON’T MISS OUR EXTENSIVE LIST OF CHILDREN’S WEATHER BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS LATER IN THE POST!
WHAT IS WEATHER?
Explaining Weather to Your Kids
Defining weather can be a little tricky. Weather is really the temporary condition of the earth’s atmosphere. (Atmosphere is the layer of air surrounding the earth.) Weather is temporary, but conditions that happen in one area may affect other others. Weather can refer to wind, temperature, snow, rain, and more.
What is the difference between weather and climate?
Climate is the weather for a specific location over a period of time. That period of time is most often 30 years for research and reporting purposes.
Types of Weather [VIDEO]
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13 Weather for Kids Worksheets, Projects, Lesson Plans & Activities
Add some of these fun weather projects to your STEM learning!
- Get a What Is Weather lesson plan
- Grab another weather lesson plan
- Get a free types of clouds worksheet
- Download a free hurricanes workbook
- Make a thunderstorm
- Make lightening (in your mouth!)
- Make a rainbow
- Learn how a wind meter works
- Learn about how seasons change in different hemispheres
- Play some weather games
- Go on an online wild weather adventure
- Play games from NASA climate kids
- Make a weather vane [VIDEO below]
28 Weather for Kids Books + Books on Coping with Fear
One of the best ways to help kids understand what’s going on in the world is with a good book.
Not only is it easy, but books help spark discussion.
REMINDER: covering weather for kids can be an extremely difficultly topic (especially if your child has experienced a scary weather situation!).
So, don’t just focus on the weather disasters!
Be sure to grab some books on fears, helplessness, coping, and also books on helping others during tough times (like natural disasters).
NOTE: I’ve listed the publisher’s age range here, but I caution you against boxing your kids into reading only books in their age ranges. If you want to know why, read more here.
Weather for Kids | Children’s Books About Weather, Disasters & More
Extreme Weather: Surviving Tornadoes, Sandstorms, Hailstorms, Blizzards, Hurricanes, and More! covers different natural disasters as well as what to do do before, during, and after, which may give kids some preparedness peace of mind.
Suggested Age Range: 8-12 years
Flood is described as “a beautiful wordless picture book about the effects of a flood on a family and their home.”
Suggested Age Range: All ages (picture book)
National Geographic Readers: Storms! covers the scariness of storms, but breaks down what actually happens when Mother Nature hits hard.
Suggested Age Range: 4-6 years
Suggested Age Range: 8-9 years
CHECK THIS OUT NEXT:
How does it all happen and how do we know what we do?
All you need to know about weather and all of its wildness will be found in the pages of this colorful, energetic, and accessible book.
Kids will also learn about real-life encounters with wild weather.”
Suggested Age Range: 8-12 years
The Everything KIDS’ Weather Book: From Tornadoes to Snowstorms, Puzzles, Games, and Facts That Make Weather for Kids Fun! asks “have you ever wondered what happens in the eye of a tornado or how hurricanes gain their strength?
From lightning and snow-day blizzards to rainbows and monsoons, The Everything Kids’ Weather Book gives you an exciting look into all the action that happens in the sky.”
Also, this book includes puzzles, games, facts, and more.
Suggested Age Range: 7-12 years
Children’s Books About Being Scared, Anxiety, and Coping
These children’s books can help if you find that your child has a lot of fear and anxiety around weather situations.
“A little squirrel announces that he was once very, very, scared and finds out that he is not alone. Lots of little animals went through scary experiences, but they react in different ways.
Turtle hides and gets a tummy ache, monkey clings, dog barks, and elephant doesn’t like to talk about it. They need help, and they get help from grown-ups who help them feel safe and learn ways to cope with difficult feelings.
Also, this story was written to help children and grown-ups understand how stress can affect children and ways to help them.”
Suggested Age Range: Not listed
Suggested Age Range: 4-9 years
Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine is a “fun and humorous book [that] addresses the problem of anxiety in a way that relates to children of all ages. It offers creative strategies for parents and teachers to use that can lessen the severity of anxiety.
The goal of the book is to give children the tools needed to feel more in control of their anxiety.
For those worries that are not in anyone’s control (i.e. the weather,) a worry hat is introduced. ”
Suggested Age Range: 5-8 years
The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get.
But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.”
Suggested Age Range: 4-8 (but I happen to think this is also a good book for older ages and even adults)
Jenny Is Scared: When Sad Things Happen in the World is “a comforting, coping story for children who are aware of the threats of violence and terrorism in the world.
A range of fears, feelings and questions are explored.
The child reader is encouraged to talk to parents, friends and other caregivers.”
Suggested Age Range: 5-7 years
A Terrible Thing Happened is a book about Sherman who experienced something bad.
“At first he tried to forget about it, but something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous and had bad dreams. Then he met someone who helped him talk about the terrible thing, and made him feel better.”
Suggested Age Range: 4-7 years
Children’s Books About Helping Others
During a natural weather disaster, one of the ways to help children through it is about how you can help those affected. These are good books to read about helping others.
The Giving Tree is a classic that is still one of the best books about helping others (in my opinion).
The book is a “touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.”
Suggest Age Range: 1-8 years (but is also good for all ages, even adults)
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids is a winner of 21 awards and…
“encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by ‘filling buckets.’”
There is also Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children.
Suggested Age Range: 4-9 years (but it is good for all ages, even adults)
I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children is a book from a “variety of cultures and peoples [and] timeless stories, poems, songs, quotations, and folktales that speak to all children to let them know that they can make a difference in today’s world.”
Suggested Age Range: 4-8 years
Hurricane Books for Children
Once my daughter and I were watching hurricane coverage and she started to cry . . . and we aren’t even in the hurricane path!
When I asked her what was wrong she replied, “It’s so scary. I feel so bad for those people!”
Weather is scary for us (as adults), so imagine what it does to little ones who don’t have a full grasp of it.
If you’re looking for some ways to discuss hurricanes in your weather for kids studies, you might want to check out this book list.
Not only will they help your children better understand the storms, but it will also help to open a dialogue so you can help with some of their fears.
A Place Where Hurricanes Happen is about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In this book, kids tell their own stories of the hurricane.
From the description: ” As natural and man-made disasters become commonplace, we increasingly need books like this one to help children contextualize and discuss difficult and often tragic events.”
Yesterday We Had a Hurricane is a book that “tells the experience of a hurricane as seen through the eyes of a young child. Young readers will learn all about these “big storms that come from the ocean.” They’ll find out about the effects of wind and rain, as well as some of the more lighthearted and practical alternatives to doing without electricity.”
Ages 3 and up
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere is a book about “when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans and tears her world apart, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A gripping story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.”
Hurricanes! is a book where “young readers will learn how hurricanes are formed, how they are named and classified, and what to do if a dangerous storm is on the way.”
In If You Were A Kid Surviving a Hurricane, kids will meet two friends named Carrie and Dan who are caught in the path of a major hurricane. “Along the way, they will learn how hurricanes form, how weather scientists track and study these storms, what people do to protect themselves from wind and flooding, and much more.”
Hurricanes “takes young readers on an in-depth exploration of one of the most awe-inspiring phenomena on Earth! This dramatic account of hurricanes and the disasters they leave behind, including Andrew and Katrina, are intensified through arresting full-color photographs and satellite images.”
Written by a meteorologist, Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane is “tracking the weather at Frog News Network when he realizes a huge hurricane is coming! Can the town of Lilypad prepare for the storm in time? Can Freddy report the weather on TV and make sure his family and friends are safe?”
In Sergio and the Hurricane “a hurricane is coming, and Sergio and his family must prepare for the storm. Sergio is excited at first, but he soon realizes that hurricanes can be dangerous. Through the experiences of one little boy, readers will learn about hurricanes and the damage they can do. And they’ll also see how a community can pull together to repair that damage. ”
In The Magic School Bus Inside A Hurricane, “flying through the clouds in the Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle’s class experiences a hurricane-and even a tornado-firsthand. During their thrilling ride through the sky, Arnold gets lost! Will the Friz be able to save the day this time?”
Hurricane Child is a book about a girl that is born during a hurricane. “Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back.”
The Hurricane Mystery is a Boxcar Children Mystery where the kids look for a pirate treasure during a hurricane.
In The Science of Hurricanes: Understanding Weather Just for Kids! kids “will learn about how hurricanes start, different types, and what the life cycle of a hurricane is. This easy to understand book will help you understand hurricanes in no time at all.”
Grades not listed
Tell Me Why We Have Hurricanes is a book that “offers answers to their most compelling questions about hurricanes. Age-appropriate explanations and appealing photos encourage readers to continue their quest for knowledge. Additional text features and search tools, including a glossary and an index, help students locate information and learn new words.”