When there is snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast, it’s the perfect opportunity to engage kids with cool winter science experiments and activities! Hopefully these easy ideas help captivate curious minds and keep cabin fever at bay.
Bubbles are always a hit no matter your age. This experiment is simple and exciting! All you need is blow bubbles outside. The tricky part is it needs to be at least 12 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. If temperatures fall below freezing than this idea is sure to be a big hit. If you need a homemade bubble recipe check out this tutorial.
Take a classic science experiment outdoors and make a colorful erupting volcano spew out from the snow. For this project you will need (baking soda, dawn dish soap, food coloring, vinegar, a large plastic cup and snow!) To start off you need to fill your cup with one tablespoon of dawn dish soap, 2 Cups baking soda, a few drops of desired food coloring and mix in a quarter cup of warm water. Next, you will need to build your volcano. So head outside and place your cup in the snow. Pack snow around the cup to form a volcano; be sure to pack down the snow around the rim of the cup so you can no longer see the cup but be sure to leave an opening at the top. The last step is the most fun! Pour about one cup of vinegar into the cup and watch the volcano erupt!
SNOWBALL LETTER TOSS
This idea is perfect for preschoolers learning their letters. You could also adopt this for a more advanced learner by spelling out sight words. You will need foam letter stickers and snowballs. Stick letters to a tree, garage or side of house. Next, make some snowballs. Than call out letters to your little one and have them toss their snowball at the correct letter or site word. You can easily adapt this letter recognition game for inside use as well. Use magnetic letters on your fridge and make snowballs out of white socks.
My boys love anything with wheels…trucks, trains, cars, etc. Bringing hot wheels, dump trucks and diggers outside is always a win. It’s almost like having a icy sandbox. When my kids were really little I would fill a box with snow and let them explore indoors.
Another idea is to use your Mr. Potato Head parts to make a Mr. Snowball Head.
This is a neat idea I saw on The Hungry Hooligan. You can make Maple Syrup candy’s in the snow! You can do this activity indoors or outside. Fill a baking sheet with a layer of packed snow. This experiment should be done by an adult. Pour maple syrup into a small pot and heat until boiling. Once boiling, the syrup will start to bubble and continue to boil the syrup until it becomes soft or is 245F. Remove the pot from the heat and pour your syrup in lines on the snow. Due with extreme caution, the syrup is VERY hot! Little hands can held with the last step. Press a popsicle stick into the syrup and then as the syrup is cooling, roll it up around the stick.
Bless This Mess Please has a wonderful recipe for Snow Ice Cream. It is simple and scrumptious. Mix 1 can evaporated milk, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 Tsp of vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Then pop the bowl in the freezer while you run outside to get your snow. In a large bowl, add about 8-10 cups of snow. Pour the milk mixture over the top and stir well to combine. Serve right away, add sprinkles for fun!
The Playful Parent is a non-profit that provides free resources that encourage a love for learning. If you are looking for some fun ways to explore winter indoors check out these cool instant ice activities. PLAY-LEARN-GROW!