Don’t let children just watch the weather—have them create it instead.

These 4 experiments will teach kids about lightning, rain, and more.

Spring and summer bring on some pretty epic weather like thunderstorms and tornados. That can also bring on some pretty epic learning opportunities.

Weather is often the first science that kids learn and can inspire curiosity in other areas of science too. “Weather affects what kids do every day, like whether they can go outside and play or if they have to wear raincoats,” says Mary Fairbanks, lead education outreach meteorologist at the National Weather Service, which offers an online weather school for kids. “So they’re very much aware of the weather, and they want to learn why it happens.”

Local meteorologists have tapped into kids’ curiosity by teaching them lessons on air and online. “Using hands-on activities will keep kids interested much longer than reading text lines in a book,” says Brittney Bowman, a meteorologist with WJHL in Johnson City, Tennessee. “Being able to physically see a process—especially one that the child created—can help them remember the concept.”

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