If you are ready to learn about the types of clouds, we have lots of fun cloud activities and cloud worksheets to add to your weather unit! Simply print the free cloud printables and you are ready to learn about, review, and make a cloud craft by making clouds with cotton balls. Get ready to play and learn wih these cloud activities for preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade, and grade 4 students.
Learning about cloud types is lots of fun with these cloud activity ideas perfect for elementary age students – from preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and up! We have cloud printable sheets to go along with our cute cotton ball clouds diy plus lots of fun resources to learn about the weather for kids. Our free cloud worksheets include cut and paste activities, match the cloud type, cloud flashcards, and more to learn about Altocumulus, Altostratus, Cirrocumulus, Cirrus, Cumulonimbus, Cumulus, Stratocumulus, and Stratus clouds in the sky.
Types of Clouds
We see clouds nearly everyday. Clouds can be light and whispy, big and puffy where they block out the sun, or dark and ominous – telling us a storm is coming.The different kinds of clouds mean different kinds of weather. A meteorologists is a scientist that studies loud formations to understand the weather better. Clouds make look like cotton balls, but they are actually made up of tiny droplets or frozen water. If you recall learning about the water cycle for kids, most clouds form as warm air rises in the atmosphere and cools down and turns into tiny droplets of water or ice. As more and more air cools down, more droplets form and they eventually become a cloud.
Clouds form in various distances from the ground, called elevation. We generally group clouds as high, middle, or low level clouds.
- High level clouds form way up high, about 20,000 feet from the ground. Because it is colder up high, these clouds are mostly formed from ice crystals. These high level clouds typically have a “cirro” or “cirrus” in their name. Some examples of high level clouds are: cirrus, cirrocumulus, and cirrostratus.
- Middle level clouds form between 6,500 and 20,000 feet from the ground. These clouds are made up of water droplets or ice crystals. They typically have the word “alto” in their name. Some common mid-level clouds are altostratus, altocumulus, and nimbostratus.
- Low level clouds form below 6,500 feet. Low clouds are mostly made up of water droplets. These closer-to-the-ground clouds usually have the word “stratus” in their name. Some typical low level clouds are stratus and stratocumulus.
- There are some clouds that span multiple levels; instead of being horizontal, they are vertical clouds. Vertical clouds typically have the word “cumulus” in their name. Some examples of vertical clouds are cumulus and cumulonimbus.
Learning about clouds
Learn about the most common types of clouds with our types of clouds printable:
- Altocumulus – Altostratus clouds are gray or blue-gray mid level clouds composed of ice crystals and water droplets. The clouds usually cover the entire sky; the sun may be dimly visible as a round disk. Altostratus clouds often form ahead of storms with continuous rain or snow.
- Altostratus – Altostratus is a cloud characterized by a generally uniform gray sheet or layer. These clouds are lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than cirrostratus. These are typically associated with wide areas of rain and snow.
- Cirrocumulus – Cirrocumulus clouds appear as small, rounded white puffs that appear in long rows and sometime resemble the scales of a fish. They are usually seen in the winter and indicate fair, but cold weather. In tropical regions, they may indicate an approaching hurricane.
- Cirrus – Cirrus clouds are the most common of the high clouds. They are composed of ice and are thin, wispy clouds blown in high winds into long streamers. Cirrus clouds are usually white and predict fair to pleasant weather.
- Cumulonimbus – Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds.. Cumulonimbus clouds are associated with heavy rain, snow, hail, lightning and even tornadoes. The anvil usually points in the direction the storm is moving.
- Cumulus – Cumulus clouds are white, puffy clouds that look like pieces of floating cotton. They are often called “fair-weather clouds”. The base is flat and the top has rounded towers. These clouds grow upward and they can develop into giant cumulonimbus clouds, which are thunderstorm clouds.
- Stratocumulus – Stratocumulus clouds are low, puffy and gray. Most form in rows with blue sky visible in between them. Rain rarely occurs with stratocumulus clouds.
- Stratus – Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often cover the entire sky. They resemble fog that doesn’t reach the ground. Light mist or drizzle sometimes falls out of these clouds.
Types of clouds printable
In the free cloud printable set below we’ve included flashcards of different types of clouds. There is a blue border set that shows a colorful picture of what that cloud looks like with a description. The other, yellow border set, shows a clipart image of the clouds with a description. Choose the set that works best for your setting.
To make a simple cloud craft project you will need a few common materials you probabaly already have on hand:
- green and blue construction paper
- cotton balls
- grey paint (or mix black and white)
- paint brush
- pen or cloud printables (optional)
Cotton ball clouds diy
Start by holding your green piece of contruction paper horizontally and cut slits in the top to make grass. Cut a narrow strip with the slits at the top. Glue on the bottom of the blue construction paper placed horizontally.
Making clouds with cotton balls
Pull apart cotton balls to recreate the different look and height of various cloud formations on your page.
Cotton ball cloud activity
Once you’ve added the clouds you wish, use grey paint to add details to your storm clouds such as cumulonimbus, statocumulus, and nimbostratus. Then using a pen or the cloud names printable in the set below to label the clouds on your cloud craft.
Types of clouds worksheet
Children can review what they’ve learned in the flashcards and cloud craft by completing the types of clouds worksheet where they match the cloud to the cloud name.
Cloud activities for preschoolers
Included in the free printable cloud lesson below are the following elements:
- Real Image Cloud Type Flaschards with information
- Types of Clouds Flashcards with clipart and facts to learn
- Cut and paste cloud worksheet for students to paste the cloud in the correct altitude
- Match the cloud with the cloud name
- Cloud names to print, cut, and paste on cloud craft
Cloud activities for kindergarten
Teach kids about the different types of clouds, there names, and the important distinctions with these cloud printables, worksheets, and craft projects.
- Simple Air Pressure Experiments for kids
- EPIC Lego Water Cycle Model for Kids
- Rain Cloud for Kids experiment and free worksheet
- How to Make a Weather Vane – easy weather science project for elementary age students
- Type of Cloud Activities for Kids with FREE Printable Worksheets
- Cold Front Weather Science Experiments for Kids
- Water Cycle in a Bag Weather Activity with free printable worksheet
- Amazing Rising Water with burning candle Air Pressure Experiment
- Free Printable Water Cycle for Kids Flip Book
- Lots of fun ideas for a weather theme this week
- Grow a Rainbow Activity for Kids
- Clever Rain Craft for kids to make
- Hibernation preschool activities learning about weather
- Severe Storms for Kids – includes tornado in a bottle, what to do in an emergency, and storm worksheets for kids
- 2 Hands-on Water Cycle Activities for Kids
- Large Printable Weather Unit for kids
- Free Printable Seasons Worksheets w/ Free 4 Season Printables
- FREE Printable Water Cycle Worksheets for Kids
- Lots of weather printables to help kids learn about weather terms while epracticing math and literacy skills
- Clouds for Kids Mini Book
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This is a great resource! I am looking forward to using it with my first grader. Thank you.