As the summer holidays approach we always need new ideas and activities to keep the kids interested and also engaged. So how about a Summer Statistics project? This will give your kids a chance to collect some data, read some meters, create some graphs and charts while also providing them with an awareness of energy and water conservation.

Temperature Chart

A simple activity to begin with is measuring the temperature throughout the day. We recommend you buy yourself two outdoor thermometers and put one in the shade and one in mostly full sun. You can purchase them cheaply at Bunnings. Then it’s time to get measuring and start recording.

On a day when you will be at home most of the day, have your child read the temperature at regular intervals (hourly or every two hours) and write them down in a table. The first column of the table can be the time of day, and the second the temperature read. Here’s a template you might like to print off and use.

After you have a day’s worth of temperatures (around 8 to 15 recordings), have your child graph the results. Here’s an example:

We’ve created this downloadable graph sheet to help you do just that.

You can then talk about the maximum and minimum temperatures that you recorded and compare them with the weather report on the news or the Bureau of Meteorology website.

If you do this activity on a few different days over the holiday period, you can then compare the shapes of each of the graphs drawn and discuss what you see together. You could also compare your data to the data of somewhere in the opposite hemisphere. Analysing graphical data is a very important skill that too many children and adults lack, so early familiarisation with this is very beneficial.

You can extend this to collecting and graphing data for the month’s temperatures or in wetter weather you can measure the rainfall each day. Hands-on statistics and reading and creating graphs is something you can do easily at home.

Stay tuned for the some more Summer Statistics activities!

Photo credit: mikebaird / Foter.com / CC BY