Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bubbles on the wind

Today, when I was blowing bubbles at the park with my youngest, I started thinking about the wind. My first stream of bubbles floated away to my right. Next, the bubbles drifted to my left. Finally, I had bubbles right where I wanted them, in front of my youngest. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the direction of the wind. I thought about how a meteorologist might describe the breeze: light and variable.

Blowing bubbles is a wonderful way to introduce the concept of wind direction. Draw a simple compass on a piece of paper using arrows to show north, south, east and west. Place this at your feet. Make sure that both you and the compass are pointing north and blow some bubbles. You or your child can keep a running tally of which direction the bubbles are drifting. If they always float toward the north, for example, you know that the wind is coming from the south.

(My thanks to my oldest for patiently blowing bubbles for me to photograph. Snips of my half of our dialogue: "Wait, wait, they're not blowing the right way. Stand over here." "No, let's try over there, that background is all wrong." "Oh, no! Can you do that again? I missed the shot.")

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