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Montessori Clouds

Montessori Clouds

Image courtesy of How We Montessori

It may be dreary January, but spring is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time of year to teach your children about the weather! Combine classroom elements with the outdoors and Montessori learning techniques to maximise your child’s learning experiences.

 wooden cloud identifier

Being from stereotypically rainy England, one of our favourite weather topics to learn about is clouds. From cloud watching to learning about the water cycle, we have got you covered for teaching your child about clouds using Montessori methods.


There are all kinds of aspects to learn about where clouds are concerned. How are clouds formed? What types of clouds are there? To learn about clouds, we first need to look at the water cycle.


The water cycle demonstrates the process of how the same amount of water is constantly moving and changing in our natural world. It’s crazy to think, but we could be drinking the same water that was once drunk by a dinosaur! Water moves around through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.


Evaporation – process that changes liquid water to gaseous water

Condensation – process that causes water vapour in the air to become a liquid

Precipitation – any frozen or liquid water that forms in the atmosphere and falls back to Earth

 Montessori Subscription Box Land & Water Formations

How can we teach the water cycle in a Montessori-friendly way? One of our favourites is to make a miniature living terrarium to show how the water cycle is a closed system.


You will need: 

  • Glass jar with lid
  • Natural objects of your choice – bark, soil, moss, leaves, pinecones, acorns etc.
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • Blue food colouring
  • Fun optional extra – miniature woodland animal figures
  • Glue – glue gun works best
  • Optional – activated charcoal on the bottom of the jar to help prevent build-up of bacteria and mould


  • Glue the cotton wool balls to the inside of the jar lid
  • Layer your natural objects inside your jar (add your figurines on top if you’ve chosen to include them!)
  • Saturate the clouds with “precipitation” – water mixed with blue food colouring
  • Screw the lid onto the jar and watch your mini-water cycle work its magic
  • Move into sunlight to see the water evaporate and start the water cycle all over again!

The terrarium provides a wonderful sensory opportunity to explore how the water cycle works, giving fantastic visuals for children to watch and learn about the natural world around them.

Montessori Weather & Seasons Subscription Box Topic 

Cloud watching is another great activity that can be simultaneously informative and creative. Look at that cloud! Is it a cumulonimbus, or is it a fire breathing dragon?  Why not both!? Our Cloud Identifiers are a great introduction to some of the common types of cloud you are likely to see in the sky. They are lightweight, durable, and easily tuck into a backpack to be taken on a day out – well, anywhere, really! Hold them up to the sky and look through the window to compare the clouds you see to the cloud types on the identifier. How many can you identify?


The Cloud Identifier can be purchased as part of our subscription box here in the weather topic, or on its own here.

 Montessori cloud identifier