Physical Geography - Climate for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Physical Geography - Climate

For Kids

Climate and weather are not the same thing. The weather report might be calling for rain today, so you might bring an umbrella with you if you go out. That does not mean that you live in a rainforest. Or, the weather report might be reporting a heat wave, but that does not mean you live in a desert.

Climate and weather are not the same, but they are closely related. Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Most scientists use 30 years of tracking the weather in an area to figure out its climate.

An easy way to understand the difference between climate and weather is to think about what is in your closet. If you live in an area that is typically warm in the summer, you probably have some shorts and t-shirts in your closet or in your drawers. During summer in your area, you might have a heat wave or a cold spell. It does not last for long, though. Things go back to what is typical. Climate is what is typical for the area during certain months. Weather can change every day, or even faster.

Here are some interactive activities about climate (geography) and weather (science.) Flash games have been removed. See if you can tell the difference.

Weather or Climate - What's the difference? (CBC for kids)

Climate Challenge quiz (Columbia Univ and NOAA for kids)

The Climate Time Machine (Climate Kids, NASA)

What are the five types of climate? What are climate zones? What effect does geography have on climate? (scijinks.gov) 

For Teachers

Geographical influences on climate (lesson plan, classroom activities, for teachers, NASA)

Free Geography Presentations in PowerPoint format  

World Climate (resource)