The White Cotton Candy In the Sky

I think one of the most fascinating sights in nature is the sight of clouds. This, when coupled with a child’s creative imagination, can actually get even more interesting. Children often give “names” to the clouds – this one looks like a teddy bear, that one looks like a dinosaur and oh, that one over there looks like a car! (The one in the above picture looks like a duck, I think!)

As they continue to be amazed at the fascinating sight of that beautiful white cotton candy in the sky, ask your children this: have you ever wondered how that “teddy bear”, “dinosaur” or “car” is formed?

Well, guess what? The answer is in the Quran!

Allah tells us about the formation of cloud in Surah An-Nur, where He says:

“Do you not see that Allah drives the clouds? Then He joins them together, then He makes them into a mass, and you see the rain emerge from within it…” (An-Nur:43)

Meteorologists (scientists who study the atmosphere) have actually studied the formation of clouds and the studies have proven this fact. For example, the cumulonimbus cloud (one type of cloud that brings rain) is formed through a few steps, until it eventually produces rain:

  • The wind drives small pieces of clouds from different areas to an area where these small pieces meet.
  • When these small pieces of clouds meet, they join together and start forming a larger cloud.
  • Then, they start “stacking up” and this larger piece of cloud will grow bigger and higher. As the cloud stack up higher and higher, it will reach a cooler area in the atmosphere and this is where drops of water start to form. The cloud eventually becomes heavier and the water will fall from the cloud as rain.

(By the way, if you missed the post about rain, you can read it here.)

Subhanallah, how amazing is that!

So that teddy bear, flower, cat or ice-cream cloud doesn’t pop out in the sky just like that. 🙂

It’s actually the wind that Allah has sent that pushes small pieces of cloud together and causes them to form all those different, interesting shapes!

Okay, now let’s look at some fun activities that you and your children can work on together:

  • Read about the different types of cloud here. Make a few columns on a piece of paper (one for each type of cloud) and ask your children to list down the characteristics of each type. See if they can identify them when they see the clouds outside.
  • “Cloud Blowing” activity: This will help demonstrate how wind drives the cloud from one place to another. Put a few pieces of cotton balls at different spots on the table. These will be your small pieces of cloud. Ask your child to blow these small pieces of cotton ball (you can use drinking straws to do this) to make them join together and form a larger “cloud”.
  • Cotton Clouds on Blue Sky Art: You will need a piece of blue paper, cotton balls and glue to do this. Ask your children to put glue on the paper and group the cotton balls together to form different shapes to represent the different types of clouds that they have read in step (1). Ask them to label each type.
  • Yummy Clouds – As the final activity, enjoy yummy halal marshmallows for snack time! 🙂

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