Family Magazine

Looking for Something in the Clouds

By Maliasa

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Imagine it is summer holiday – the whole family is lying on the grass, staring in the sky and familiar animals appear in the fluffy marshmallows. Cumulus clouds are the best types of clouds for finding shapes.

Pattern recognition is an essential part of our life. Children are discovering all sorts of patterns, such as mom always drinks a cup of tea in the morning in a red mug. Maybe we all want to believe that there is some order and meaning behind everything we see. Even in things that seem random, we search for patterns and familiar patterns. Like the sky.

Cloudspotting is a wonderful relaxing activity! Dreaming about what it would feel like to jump around among the clouds is a great imaginary activity without any time constrictions. Five minutes can be rewarding and so can hours lying on the grass while watching the clouds slowly drifting past.

Looking for different animals in the clouds is a great game that can show a child how different people see different animals among the clouds. Describing where you see the animals and the parts of the animals is an engaging language activity. And you have to be quick since the clouds constantly change their shape. Later you can read stories or search for facts about the animals that you have spotted in the clouds.

Go here to read more about spotting animals in the clouds. The site Wildlife Fun 4 kids also has many other fun activities. A visit is warmly recommended.

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The faces below have been selected by both the human eye and the computer programme Cloud Face. This programme builds on research into why we are so good at detecting faces in things like cakes, trees, and clouds. For a child it is vital to recognize faces and the cost of missing one face can have severe consequences.

The programme uses facial recognition to capture wisps and puffs of vapour that for a split second forms the likeness of a human face. This idea emerged when an artist tried to capture human faces using a webcam and the camera picked out not only faces from the people walking on the street but also faces in the grass, trees, sandwich. . .

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Go here to read about Creativity and Cloudspotting.


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