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Early Childhood Activity Bank

What Makes Waves?


  • Explain simply that wind blowing across the water is what makes waves occur.
  • Demonstrate this by filling a shallow pan with 2-3 inches of water. Next place a table fan about 1 foot from the narrowest side of the pan.
  • Let the fan blow at a low speed and let children predict what will happen.
  • Ask Were there waves? Did the water bunch up at the far end of the pan?
  • Try speeding up the fan, but do not let the water slosh out of the pan.
  • Discuss the connection between wind and waves.



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Sue LaBella, Education World's early childhood editor, is a former teacher who loves writing activities and poems for young children. She lives in Connecticut with her family and her bulldog named Daisy.

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