What Makes the Wind Blow? 25+ Learn About Wind Activities

Ever wonder what makes the wind blow? It’s one of those things that’s always around us. You can feel it and see its impact, but for kids, wind can feel a little vague. That’s why I pulled together a fun list of 25+ Learn About Wind Activities and some of the science that will make that happen.

Learn about wind with 25 activities for kids: arts & crafts, science, motor skills, books, & more! Plus all the science behind what makes the wind blow.
Learn about wind with 25 activities for kids: arts & crafts, science, motor skills, books, & more! Plus all the science behind what makes the wind blow.
Learn about wind with 25 activities for kids: arts & crafts, science, motor skills, books, & more! Plus all the science behind what makes the wind blow.

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What is Wind?

Let’s start with the basics… It’s all around us and moves nice neat piles of freshly raked leaves back around the yard ūü§£ But why? Wind is the horizontal movement of air flowing from areas of higher pressure to lower pressure. The greater the difference in pressure, the higher the wind speed.

We took a family outing to the Berkeley Kite Festival and were completely inspired to learn about wind.  Check out this video of the gorgeous octopus kites from the festival.

Why Does the Wind Blow?

So what causes these pressure differentials?  It’s all about temperature.  The sun heats up the earth, which heats up the air over it.  The hotter air is less dense and begins to rise, leaving a low-pressure void over the earth.  But the temperature doesn’t rise as high over areas like oceans that can absorb more of the sun’s heat.  This creates the opposite situation, i.e. high atmospheric pressure over the oceans.  So the air flows from high pressure over the ocean to the lower pressure areas over land.  A similar process occurs on a larger scale with temperature differentials between the earth’s poles and the equator.

What Makes the Wind Blow in a Particular Direction?

Three different forces influence the direction the wind blows.  The first is the Pressure Gradient Force which causes the air to move from an area of high pressure to low pressure.  The second is the Coriolis Force created by the earth’s rotation on its axis.  This causes things in the Northern Hemisphere to turn to the right and things to turn to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The third force is Friction because the Earth is rough and mountains and valleys can alter the wind flow.  The sum of these forces determines the direction.

kites left brain craft brain small

Wind Vocabulary

Did you know that those words you use to describe wind like breeze and gale have been defined by a scientist named Francis Beaufort?  He created a scale that classifies winds by their speed.  Wind is measured in knots, a measure of distance/time and can also be shown as miles per hour or kilometers per hour.  Here are a few of the Beaufort Scale classifications:

  • Calm (< 1 mph)
  • Light Breeze (4-7 mph)
  • Fresh Breeze (18-24 mph)
  • High Wind (31-38 mph)
  • Gale (39-46 mph)
  • Storm (55-63 mph)
  • Hurricane (‚Č• 74 mph)

Now that we’re all wind smart, it’s time to play!

STEAM Explorers Weather Activities for Kids

Wind Science and Engineering

Wind Arts and Crafts

wind arts crafts left brain craft brain

Kite Fun

kite collage left brain craft brain

Wind Motor Skills Activities

wind motor skills left brain craft brain

Read About Wind

wind books left brain craft brain
  • One Windy Day by Tammi Salzano {affiliate} tells a silly story about a foxy mail carrier whose mail blows away.
  • The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer is an inspiring tale of an inventive boy from Malawi who uses wind to bring electricity to his village.
  • Figure out which nose belongs to who in Windblown by Edouard Manceau  by Edouard Manceau.  Childhood 101 has a great craft to go along with the book.
  • The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins tells the fun story of how the wind blew so hard it blew everything away.
  • The most important reading about wind you can do is information on winds that come with weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes.  Ready.gov has some great information to help you and your family be prepared.

More Fun with the World Around Us!

Try one of these fun, hands-on activities to learn more about the world around us.

6 Amazing Ways to Make Weather in a Jar

6 Amazing Ways to Make Weather in a Jar

Solar-Powered Paper House Project

Or want a planned-for-you activity pack ready for some weather fun? Try the STEAM Explorers Weather Ebook!

Kids will love creating weather in a jar, capturing the daily forecast in an art journal, and becoming a meteorologist with DIY tools. You'll love the helpful standards-based learning, printables, and tools that make STEAM exploration easy!



18 thoughts on “What Makes the Wind Blow? 25+ Learn About Wind Activities”

  1. Wow! So many great ideas! I love the science experiments and all of those fun kite activities :) Flying kites is one of my 3 year old’s favorite things to do outside.

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Thanks Amber! We just went out and flew kites again today. My 3 1/2 year old can’t get enough of it!

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