Officrèche Blog

Flash and bangs, getting excited by storms

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Lightning strikes are amazing.  Image by Les Chatfield, licenced by Creative Commonså

Lightning strikes are amazing.
Image by Les Chatfield, licenced by Creative Commonså

What a bright and loud series of thunderstorms we’ve experienced during the last couple of weeks, writes Sarah Booker Lewis.

My husband and I have taken it as a learning opportunity for our curious almost three-year-old, so she doesn’t feel fearful about loud noises, flashes and bangs.

When a storm hits, looking out for flashes becomes a game, then we count until the thunder comes.

This is a simple game I learned in childhood.

However, the wonder of the internet, particularly a live map showing lightning strikes, makes it far more exciting.

We watch on www.lightningmaps.org to see where the storm is moving.

The site shows the strike and then the sound wave.

A screen shot of Real-Time Lightning Strikes map, showing fresh strikes and the sound wave

A screen shot of Real-Time Lightning Strikes map, showing fresh strikes and the sound wave

Sometimes we hear faint thunder from lightning we couldn’t see, either up country or out to sea, and watch the sound wave coming towards us on the website.

“Can you hear it?” I ask my daughter, as we listen intently.

Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t.

It all adds to the excitement.

Weather is an interesting topic for preschoolers.

Even on the days when my daughter isn’t in Yellow Room at Officréche, she likes to sing the circle time song asking “what’s the weather today?”

“What’s a stormy day Mummy?” She asks.

I keep the explanation simple.

How the hot air rises and the cold air sinks making clouds where water rubs together to create electricity.

Then the electricity fires down to earth again.

It is a lot for a little person to take in, but at least she is excited rather than afraid.

How do you make storms fun?

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