Winter is full of fun things to do if you like the cold. Snow is great for exploring everything from states of matter to insulation. Here are a few fun homeschool science projects using snow.
Make snow candy with molasses or pure maple
Place cookie sheets out in the snow for a clean base to work from. Boil pure maple syrup or molasses and brown sugar in a pot until your candy thermometer reads 245 degrees fahrenheit. Pour this over clean snow and let it harden over. This process will take about 5 minutes. Talk to your child about what they think will happen when the hot candy hits the cold snow and what the end result will be.
Test the insulative properties of snow
Fill two balloons with room temperature water making a note of the exact temperature. Place one in a bowl on its own and the other fully packed in snow. Leave outside for a few hours. Move each indoors placing into a container before cutting open. Promptly take the temperature of the water.
This works best with a portable microscope or a good magnifying glass. Place a large piece of black fabric or paper out in the falling snow for a few minutes. Take an up-close look at the snowflakes on the black background for a clear view. Discuss the different shapes of snowflakes and ice crystals. What makes different ones look similar or different? If you keep nature journals have your children draw some of the snowflakes they find.
Use the snow to take a close look at the tracks of animals in your area
This is a great way to learn about what may be lurking in your own backyard. A quick google search of snow tracks can help you find out what the prints you found belong to and have the opportunity to learn more about the animal.
Make a volcano in the snow
Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of water, a few tablespoons of dish soap, and several drops of food coloring in plastic cup or jar . Take it outside and pack snow all around it to it form a small hill or mountain. Now add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the cup, stand back, and watch your volcano erupt.
Mix colors in the snow
Fill some squirt bottles (like the ones you get at the hospital after having a baby; yes, I’ve saved mine; they come in handy for crafts) with water and food coloring and let your kids have fun ‘drawing’ pictures and experimenting with mixing the different colors together in the snow to see what new colors they can create.
So if the kids can’t sit still at the school table or desk and there is snow on the ground, why don’t you surprise them with some time outside. And you can make it educational with these science projects using snow.
If you’d prefer to stay in where it’s warm, here are some indoor ideas instead.
You might also like: