If you're lucky enough to get heaps of snow, then you're lucky enough to have some fun in the great outdoors that will keep your kids totally occupied. (As long as they'll keep their hat and mittens on. Is my kid the only one that refuses?) But the fun doesn't have to end with snow angels and snowball fights. There are some fun cool snow experiments to do with your kids that can introduce science to the little ones and go beyond the traditional snow day activities.
The best part about most snow experiments? They don't require many tools. In fact, some of them, like teaching your kids about the different properties of water and the water cycle don't require adding anything else. It may sound simple, but that's the brilliance of science. It really is that wonderful and cool, even in it's easiest form. Your kids will love watching snow become ice, learning about igloos, and even eating some yummy ice cream made with fresh snow from outside. Plus most of these snow experiments can be done inside the house, cutting down on the "Put your hat back on!" arguments and freaking out about runny, red noses. So pick a favorite and get to work turning your kiddo into budding little scientists with these cool snow experiments. And then make some paper snowflakes and drink hot chocolate (Spike yours, obviously), because that's the best part of a snow day.
1. Turn Snow Into Ice Cream
Snow cream is a classic experiment to do with your kids and the fresh snow you find in your yard. It doesn't take long, is super simple, and can be flavored any way you want. This particular snow cream recipe from Handmade Charlotte is flavored like an orange dreamsicle, but feel free to add coffee, chocolate, or any other flavor.
2. Magnify The Snowflakes
When the snow is falling, especially heavy and thick, grab a piece of black construction paper and catch as many as you can. Grab a magnifying glass and inspect each flake to show your kids how no two snowflakes are the same and how intricate they are when magnified.
3. Make An Igloo
Your kids may have questions about how people that live in the snow keep warm, so making mini igloos out of frozen snow blocks is a great way to talk to them about homes in the snow. Bring in the snow, mold into blocks and pop in the freezer. Using a butter knife, you can shave off corners and edges and follow steps to make your own igloos. If you've got lots of snow and bigger kids, try building one outside.
4. Examine The Properties Of Water
When it snows, it's the perfect time to talk about all of the properties of water and how it can go from liquid to solid, with snow in between. Grab bowls of it from outside to melt and show your kids how snow becomes water. Then freeze it to show how it becomes ice and, if you're really wanting to show it off, boil it to show steam. It's a great way to discuss the water cycle, too and it's super easy.
5. Make Molasses Snow Candy
Snowy days are the perfect time to introduce your children to Half-Pint Ingalls and the rest of the gang from Little House on the Prairie and make some of Laura's famous molasses snow candy. Mix maple syrup and butter together and pour into fresh snow outside to turn it into a delicious taffy-like maple candy. It's also a great way to teach your kids about what happens with hot liquids out in the snow and what they become.
6. Turn Boiling Water Into Snow
Obviously let this one happen with the kids far away, but if you're experiencing really cold temperatures, throw some boiling water out into the freezing air and watch it instantly turn into snow. Super fun to watch, but keep the kiddos far away and throw it away from everyone.
7. Make A Snow Volcano
You know the old trick about baking soda and vinegar in a paper mache volcano? Skip the crafting and build a volcano out of snow! Add the baking soda and put some food coloring to your vinegar to make pretty snow volcanoes all over your yard.