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Kids Listen Activity Podcast, Episode 11:

Curious Kid Podcast Presents Lightning and Thunder

In this episode, we learn about lightning and thunder.  What causes lightning?  How hot is lightning?  Can you have lightning without rain?  Can you have thunder without lightning?  Olivia interviews Greg, a meteorologist, to ask him some questions about lightning and thunder and see if some of the things we've heard about lightning and thunder are true.  Listen to the episode here
After the episode, do the activity!  You'll find lots of ways to learn about lightning and thunder with the hand-on activities below. 
Activity 1 - Static Electricity

Materials:  Balloon, Fluorescent Light Bulb.

What You Do:  Rub the balloon on your hair for about 15 seconds.  Shut the lights in the room so it is dark.  Hold the balloon to one end of a fluorescent light bulb and watch the light flicker.  You can even add your own thunder sounds to make it more like an actual thunderstorm.  

Activity 2 - Creating Lightning In Your Mouth

Materials: Lifesavers (Pep-O-Mint or Wint-O-Green), Mirror.

What you do:  Go into a dark room and look at the mirror.  Allow one minute to pass for your eyes to adjust to the dark surroundings.  Put a pep-o-mint or wint-o-green lifesaver in your mouth.  While keeping your mouth open, break the lifesaver with your teeth to create blue flashes of light.  


Activity 3 - Rain Sticks

Materials: Cardboard Tube (paper towel tube works well), Construction Paper, Aluminum Foil, Dry Rice, Tape, Scissors.

What you do:  Trace around one end of your tube onto a piece of construction paper.  Draw a circle around your first circle that's about twice as big.  Cut the big circle out.  Draw spokes from the inner circle to the outer circle that separate the area in between them into 4 equal parts.  Cut along the spokes you drew from the outer circle to the inner circle.  Tape the circle onto one end of your tube to cover the opening.  Cut 4 pieces of aluminum foil that are about one and a half times longer than your tube and about 6 inches wide.  Crunch the aluminum foil pieces up into a thin snake-like shape, the twist it into a spring shape.  Put the aluminum foil springs in your tube.  Pour some rice into your tube until it's only about 10% full.  Cut another circle out of the construction paper the same way you did with the first and tape it to the opposite side of the tube to seal the aluminum foil and rice inside.  Tilt the tube end over end and enjoy the sound of rain.  Decorate your rain stick and make it beautiful.  

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