What is Air Made of? Atmospheric Science for Kids

When you hear the words “atmospheric science” all this means is that you are studying the atmosphere. The atmosphere includes gases that surround the earth and is held together by gravity. The atmosphere protects life, keeps the temperatures from getting too warm, and warms the earth’s surface. Atmosphere is air. It’s what we breathe into our bodies and therefore it is important to understand everything that affects this air that we breathe. Continue reading to learn more about what effects the atmosphere.

In the Sky

When you walk outside and look to the sky you would see a lot of wonderful things such as a blue sky, different types of clouds, the sun, maybe even rain. There is a lot to be seen but there is also a lot that cannot be seen. There is air that you breathe, wind that blows in your face, and pollution lurking about. Although the sun can be seen, you should never look directly at it. The pollution in the air can make you sick, pollute water, and harm plants. This is why it is important to understand what pollutes our air and do your part to help better the environment.

The Water Cycle

When water moves through a cycle, it is a never-ending journey. The water cycle has different parts, spends various amounts of time in different places, and has a fascinating travel experience. Freshwater comes from glaciers and snow. It travels through rivers into the ocean. The water evaporates, changing to a gas and goes into the atmosphere. When it rains, water falls back down to earth and cycles again.

Dangerous Weather

The world is a fascinating place but it can also come with dangerous weather conditions. What is dangerous weather? Thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards can all be very dangerous. A storm that contains both thunder and lightning is called a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms can produce hail, heavy winds, and flash flooding. With tornadoes, air spins quickly causing funnel clouds. These clouds touch the ground and can take everything in their path along for the ride. Hurricanes also have winds that spiral but they are not funnel clouds like tornadoes. They have strong winds that can cause flooding and tear buildings apart. A blizzard is another dangerous storm but instead of rain, as with a hurricane, there will be snow and ice.

Climate and Greenhouse Effect

The planet we live on is in a constant state of change. The climate is different from the weather because the climate is measured over a long period of time whereas the weather can change quickly. There are many things that can affect our climate. The sun is our main source of energy but there are things in place that affect how much energy the earth gets from it. Something known as the greenhouse effect helps trap some of the sun’s energy and helps in keeping the temperatures on earth suitable for living things.

Make Science Happen

Visit the following links for activities, to play games, and learn more about the atmosphere.

  • Kids Astronomy – This is a great website to learn about the night sky. You can print a sky map to learn what the placement of the stars mean, learn about the phases of the moon, and learn about solar eclipses.
  • Geography for Kids – Here you can read about what makes the sky blue, the composition of the atmosphere, what affects the atmosphere, and much, much more.
  • Science News for Kids – This is an information packed website where you can read articles related to the earth, sky, and more.
  • Brain Pop – At Brain Pop you can play games that will help you learn about wind and the weather.
  • Just for Kids: Air – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has made a kid’s page available to help you learn more about the atmosphere, air pollutants, and energy. You can also take quizzes and play games.
  • Water Cycle Quiz – Have your parents help you print out this page and then use the Little Explorers Picture Dictionary to help you complete the water cycle quiz.
  • Fun Water Facts – Here you can read a few fun facts about water.
  • Kid Zone – Read about the water cycle, do a little experiment, learn interesting facts, and print out activity sheets.
  • Water Cycle – Learning is easy and fun when you can listen to songs and watch videos about the water cycle.
  • Thirstin’s Water Cycle – This is a fun, interactive activity that will help you learn more about how water cycles.
  • Weather Wiz Kids – What is lightning? What causes lightning? How hot is lightning? Visit this website to find the answers to these questions and more!
  • National Geographic Kids – Have you ever seen what a hurricane looks like? You can view images on the National Geographic Kids website.
  • Interactive Weather Maker – Use this interactive weather maker to create a rainy day, or turn a sunny day into a windy day.
  • The Weather Channel – This website has lost off cool, fun activities for you including games and puzzles.
  • Franklin’s Forecast – Visit this website to make a weather station, be a weather watcher, learn about what the weather forecast is in your area, and more.
  • Climate Kids – Learn what the greenhouse is, read climate tales, and have fun learning with activities and games while learning about the climate.
  • Global Climate Change – Use this website to learn about the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, and what you need to know about carbon dioxide.
  • Climate Change – Learn everything you need to know about climate change including vocabulary words, what causes climate change, and what you can do to help.
  • Global and Climate Change – Here you can learn about climates of the past, our changing planet, the role clouds play in our climate, energy and much more.
  • Earth Science for Kids – NASA has a just for kids page where you can view the photo of the day, learn about land, water, people, air, and natural hazards.


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