Terrifying Twisters + Hurricanes
Hold onto your hats! Powerful storms have made their way to Camp Kinda today...by which we mean tornadoes and hurricanes. These are both stormy atmospheric systems, but with different effects: Hurricanes can produce enough energy to power all the lights in New York City for years to come, while tornadoes can rip all the feathers off a chicken in mere seconds. Today, we'll explore how water and wind combine to create these powerful forces of nature.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- A glass jar (or two 2-liter bottles)
- Duct tape
- A washer
- Food coloring (preferably blue)
- Dish detergent
- Glitter (optional)
Today's activities include videos, images, and stories about hurricanes and tornadoes. If you feel your child may be sensitive to these topics, please encourage them to skip ahead.
Ask About Today
What are the key differences between tornadoes and hurricanes?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
This week's materials list includes a few items that are a little more unusual—like styrofoam plates, baby oil, and food coloring. If you can find them, we think they make for some really cool experiments. If you can't, no worries, just skip ahead.
You're going to need more than an umbrella to weather these storms.
Becoming a Tornado
We often think of the Midwest when we hear about tornadoes—but they form all over the country (and the world). In fact, they start from thunderstorms. But while these rapidly circulating columns of air might look simple, they wreak tremendous havoc and destruction.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Hurricanes have been called the most powerful storms known to humans. But did you know that in addition to tearing down buildings and flooding streets, these monster storms also play an important role in keeping the Earth’s temperature stable?
Meet the Storm Chasers
Storm chasers can have a bad reputation because some people who claim the title are no more than thrill seekers putting their lives—and others'—on the line. But professional storm chasers provide critical coverage of storms for meteorologists, and report in-the-moment details that help us understand storms' paths, severity, and how and when to take cover. Could you be a storm chasing pro?
For younger explorers
Natural disasters come in many different forms. Learn about the most common ones, from floods to landslides to tornadoes, with this episode of the Dr. Binocs show.
We'd definitely prefer to keep the real storms outside, but model storms can be fun to build inside.
Build Your Own Tornado
Building a tornado at home isn't actually that complicated. Check out the video for instructions. If you have siblings at home, race to see whose tornado lasts the longest.
Bonus: Add some extra flair to your tornado with glitter or the blue food coloring you used in yesterday's water activities.
Hurricane at Home
Want more storms in your living room? Make a hurricane too using some of the same materials.
The Wizard of Oz is fiction, right? Yeah...kinda.
"Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore"
You were wondering when we'd get to The Wizard of Oz, weren't you? This classic children's novel by L. Frank Baum (and the famous film version of it) was set in Kansas, and features a scene where a tornado sweeps Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, away. Of course, that was a fantasy. But Kansas really is part of what's known as Tornado Alley, home to some out the most destructive tornadoes in the world. Read on to discover why.
Before You Read: Start by reviewing the vocabulary tab to learn some new storm-related language.
For younger explorers
Tornado Safety With Roy
Read along with Roy in Tornado Safety With Roy by E. Moore to understand how to stay safe if you ever encounter a real tornado.
Put your new meteorologist vocabulary to use.
Test your knowledge of today’s vocabulary with this jigsaw puzzle.
Need Help? Check out the hints on the right side of the page.
For younger explorers
Sid the Science Kid
Play this fun weather game with Sid the Science Kid, where you'll place animals and plants in their correct habitats.
Time to dance up a storm.
If you’re going to be chasing storms anytime soon, you'll need to be in shape. How better to get your heart pumping than a dance workout? Join Kidz Bop for 30 minutes of movement.
more to explore
Are you a future storm chaser? Explore some more!
How the Hurricane Got Her Name
From Andrew to Katrina and Sandy to Maria: Hurricane names can become synonymous with destruction. But they aren't just picked at random—there’s a whole system that determines what they're called every year.
Hurricanes of 2020
Here's more about hurricane names for 2020. Did your name make the list?