Christmas Vacation

With Christmas just around the corner, parents of children everywhere will be faced with the challenge of what to do with the kids after the Christmas toys and presents have lost their appeal. After the holiday movies, trips to the mall, skating rink, indoor play areas and playing outside in the cold have all been experienced, how about introducing your child to weather?

Mike Smith was only 5 years old when the Ruskin Heights tornado cut a path of destruction so long and wide through the middle of his neighborhood that it left  nothing but rubble visible in all directions and destroyed his kindergarten classroom. Details can be found in chapter 1 of Mike’s book WARNINGS: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather (Greenleaf 2010).

Mike knew at that moment that he wanted to grow up and ”study whatever had done all of this.”  In fact, the Ruskin Heights tornado inspired not just Mike, but at least two other people he knows to become meteorologists.  Most meteorologists can point to a single event, usually a storm they experienced between the ages of 5-9 which inspired a lifelong interest in weather. But why not give the child in your life the opportunity to discover weather on their own?

There are some wonderful educational websites designed especially for children that offer activities, games, cool clips, fun facts and more, that allow kids a chance to learn more about the facinating world of weather! Check out http://www.weatherwizkids.com  or http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather/ for tips and ideas and have fun!

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