A Windy Day at the Races

In this Remarkable Idea, students learn about wind - what it is and what it feel like. They will compete in relay races taking turns using a switch-activated hair dryer to blow a leaf (or other object) down to the FINISH line.

This activity addresses:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Anticipation
  • Group work
  • Turn Taking
  • Alternative methods of access

What you need:

  • Step-by-Step (2)
  • Jelly Beamer
  • PowerLink 4
  • “Wind” picture/symbol card
  • Various lightweight objects such as cotton balls, tissue paper, plastic straw, etc.
  • Two plastic/fake leaves
  • Two long tables
  • Hair dryer (2 - each with an extension cord)


1. Plug each hair dryer (with extension cord) and Jelly Beamer into the PowerLink 4.
2. On two Step-by-Step, place a “cheer” picture/symbol and record words of cheer/encouragement such as “Go, go, go!”, “You can do it!”, “Blow that leaf!”, “Don’t give up!”, “You’re doing great!”
3. Set up the PowerLink 4 on or near one of the long tables, and place each hair dryer at the same end of the tables.
4. Create overlays using the AbleNet Symbol Overlay Maker app.

What to do:

1. Show students the “wind” picture/symbol card.
2. Explain to students that “wind” is something that we feel, and it’s a type of weather.
3. Use a hair dryer to have students experience what “wind” feels like.
4. Put different lightweight objects on the table, and demonstrate how the wind will blow the objects.
5. Tell students that many times, outside, the wind will blow around leaves.
6. Show students the two hair dryers and Jelly Beamer. Show them how to activate the switch to turn on the hair dryer and blow a leaf from one end of the table to the next.
7. Students on each team take turns activating the switch to turn on the hair dryer and blow their leaf from one end of the table to the next and back. A
8. While a student from each team is blowing the team’s leaf, the other students on that team take turns using a Step-by-Step to cheer on their team member.