The little corner of the state that we call home has been covered in snow for a about a week now. Despite the entire county (and surrounding counties) being out of school due to the snow & ice, we have pressed on with our homeschool days. Luckily for my kids, we don’t rely on textbooks for learning. The great outdoors is one of our biggest sources of education so we decided to exchange one of our normal science lessons to go outside and play in the snow. Let me just say, our snow science experiments were a HIT with our kids and our neighbor’s kids! Yep, you read that correctly, my friend… our neighbors who were on a snow day from public school came over to join in on our school day and they had a blast!
Snow Science Experiments & Activities for Your Snow Day
1. Snow Volcano
My kids have made volcanoes with kitchen supplies (in the sink while cleaning and for an astronomy project about Venus), but making a volcano in the snow was a new one for our family. You can make your own Snow Volcano with Baking Soda, Hand Soap (for extra bubbles), Food coloring, and White Vinegar!
The recommended amounts of baking soda, hand soap, food coloring, and white vinegar are 2 tbsp, 2 tsp, 3-4 drops, and 1 cup respectively, but if you watch our video you will see that we just kind of wing the measurements on things like this… I am guessing that we used about 1 cup of baking soda, 1 tbsp hand soap, 10 drops of red food coloring, and 2 cups of white vinegar and it worked out great 🙂
First, you will need to place a tall cup or a jar upright on the snow and have the kids build up the volcano around it. Once your kids have their snow volcano built to the desired size, you can put the baking soda directly into the cup. Now you can add in the hand soap and food coloring. When you are ready for the eruption, pour the white vinegar into middle of the volcano and enjoy the show! Watch this video to see our snow volcano in action from start to finish…
2. Melting Magic with Snow & Ice
Do you know if ice or snow will melt faster? How does the volume of each substance change after it melts? Is more water stored in a cup of snow or a cup of ice? You can find out the answers to these questions with this simple science experiment from STEAM Powered Family!
3. Arctic Animal Warmth Experiments
How do arctic animals stay warm in constant freezing temperatures? Let your kiddos find out for themselves with this neat Blubber experiment! You can also show them how arctic land animals stay warm by simulating their two layers of fur with two sets of gloves. Just have your child wear two gloves on one hand while her or she submerges that hand into a pile of snow. Then place a hand with only one glove in the snow. Compare the difference in the insulation of each hand and write the findings into a journal or onto a worksheet.
4. Snowflake Science
Take the kiddos outside to capture some snowflakes on a black sheet of paper. Then you can use the information from The Homeschool Scientist to teach your kids all about these mini wonders! Discuss the fact that each snowflake is unique and intricately formed. You can turn this into a lesson about how God formed each of us as unique and wonderful individuals if you so choose. If your children are old enough, they can also draw the snowflakes and write about their characteristics in a nature journal.
5. Salt’s Effect on Snow
Have you ever seen trucks spreading salt onto the highway when the weatherman has predicted snow or ice? Why do they do this? How does salt melt through the snow and ice? Which type of salt melts through the snow more quickly, table salt or epsom salt? This quick snow science experiment from Miniature Masterminds will allow your kiddos to answer these questions with hands-on experience. Have your kids write their hypotheses in a science journal and record the results after completing the experiment.
6. Snow Day Nature Study
Who says you can’t have nature studies during the winter? Take the kids into the yard to identify animal tracks on the snow covered ground. Depending on where you live you might find bunny, deer, dog, cat, bird, and other interesting animal tracks! Have fun playing detective to figure out which tracks belong to which animal. Have your kids draw and label each set of tracks in their nature journals. You can also take photos of the tracks and print them to tape into their Nature Journals.
7. Snow Density Test
Do you know if snow will sink or float? Does it make a difference if the snow is loose or packed? You can test the density of the snow from your yard with this simple density project from Lessons 4 Little Ones!
Utilizing nature in our studies makes it so fun to practice our skills in math, science, reading, and writing. Experiments like these are always a welcome addition to our homeschool routine. I hope that you are able to try some of these activities out with your kiddos on your next snow day and that your family enjoys them as much as we did!