Sea Breeze Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Joseph Wallace

Joseph is a recently retired elementary school principal and is a teacher with 36 years of experience in elementary education. He hold an EdS in Advanvced Professional Studies

It makes flags blow, clouds move, kites fly and leaves dance. It's the wind! This lesson will teach you about a special type of wind called a sea breeze.

What Is Wind?

You can feel it and sometimes hear it, but you can't see it. What are we talking about? We're talking about the wind!

You might think, this lesson is supposed to be about sea breezes so why are we talking about the wind? Before we can talk about a sea breeze, we need to understand a little bit about what causes wind because the two are related. We can see the effect of wind when we see a flag blowing or leaves rustling in the trees or clouds moving in the sky, but we can't see the wind itself. Wind is air in motion. That means that wind is air that moves from one place to another.

Let's try to understand what causes wind. As the sun shines on the surface of the earth, it heats up the surface upon which it shines. However, all surfaces do not get hot at the same rate because some might be covered by clouds or trees or bushes or water, or they may just naturally take longer to heat up. So when the earth's surface gets hot, the air over that hot place gets lighter and rises. The air over the place that's cooler is heavier than the hot air so, instead of rising, it moves into the space created by the rising hot air. This movement of the air causes the wind.

The greater the difference in temperature, the faster the air moves. Winds have different names depending on how fast they move. A very fast moving, very strong wind is called a gale, while a much slower, gentler wind is called - you guessed it - a breeze. See why we started off talking about the wind?

Sea Breezes

The name says it all. Sea breezes are breezes (or slow, gentle winds) that we feel during the daytime when we are near the sea or ocean, or any really large body of water. Here's how it works. The sun shines on both the land and the water at the same time, but the land gets hot faster than the water. This means that the air over the land gets hot faster than the air over the water, too. The hot air over the land rises and the cooler air from over the water moves in to take its place. That cooler, moving air is our sea breeze.

Cool air replacing rising warm air
Moving air

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