I had a class and we were working on understanding the wind around us and I used a folded up paper fan to show the children how to create their own wind. For many of the children, this was just a fun and reinforcing activity about what wind feels like. For one child, however, she made a connection! She thought that since she could make the wind by moving the fan back and forth, it must be the trees moving themselves back and forth that made the wind outside. Isn't that an interesting conclusion? It took some time to convince her that the opposite was true.
One way children love to experience the wind is by flying a kite. Kites can be difficult to manage for toddlers, though, since their pull can be very strong. And, of course, toddlers have barely mastered walking, so they can't get the good running start needed to launch a kite into the air. A good alternative to a kite is a balloon tied to a string. If you're out flying a kite with a sibling, you might make sure to bring a balloon around so your toddler feels like they, too, are experiencing the wind. Just make sure to supervise closely and dispose of the balloon properly after play since it can be a choking hazard when popped or deflated.
Other wind toys that are fun include pinwheels, wind socks, and batons or sticks with ribbons or crepe paper attached. Even just a paper shopping bag with handles can be fun since it will pop open when held in the wind and your toddler can really feel it pulling him and offering resistance. Installing a wind chime or wind-powered whirligig on your porch or in your yard can serve as a visual and audible reminder of the power of the wind for your toddler, too.
Here are some vocabulary words to use when teaching your toddler about wind: