Kids always get excited about snow days! What’s not to love about an unexpected day off? You can turn this bonus day into a fun way to learn, too. Use your child’s next snow day as a way to perform fun, snow-related experiments that will teach kids while they have a good time. We’ve compiled four snow day activities for you and your children to try.
Snow Day Experiments for Younger Kids
Children learn through doing, and they may have a lot of questions about snow, especially if they have only experienced a few snowstorms. Here are a few ways to encourage their curiosity.
Water and Snow Experiment
What happens when water meets snow? Your child may not realize that snow will melt when it comes in contact with water. Put snow in three different cups. Then prepare three cups with water of different temperatures:
- Room temperature
Pour each type of water into snow at the same time. Observe what happens to each cup. Does the snow melt at the same speed? Does all of it melt? Ask your child to share their observations and theorize on why certain snow melted more quickly.
This requires a bit of prep by mom or dad in advance, but you can play with the hands anytime. You will need:
- Durable latex gloves
- Food coloring
Fill each glove with water and add a few drops of food coloring. Vary the amount with each glove so you get a lot of different colors. Tie a knot at the bottom of the glove and put the gloves in your freezer or, if it’s cold enough outside, lay them on your porch to freeze.
Take them out on a snow day and let your kids play with them in the snow. Run some cold water over them first to loosen the icy fingers from the latex and remove the glove. Once the kids have played with the hands to their hearts’ content, offer them salt to pour on the frozen hands and see what happens. Invite them to make a prediction first, then watch their surprise as the ice melts.
Snow Day Experiments for Older Children
As your child gets into the upper elementary school level, they will have learned more about science and be eager for more sophisticated investigations. Try these fun experiments to enforce science themes they learn at school.
This experiment takes some advance planning. Add some everyday objects to an ice tray. Try things you have sitting around the house, like a penny, Lego bricks, thimbles or other small objects. Add water to the tray and freeze. You can take the tray out whenever you have the snow day.
Bring the kids outside and give them these tools:
- A small bag filled with salt
- Cup of water
Give each one a few ice cubes. Now invite them to become archeologists. Their job is to free the “fossils” buried in the ice, causing the least amount of damage to the objects trapped there. Encourage your fossil diggers to proceed gently. Watch how they use the tools, and ask them questions about why they chose this method. You can even record the experience on your phone because kids love watching themselves!
There’s nothing kids like more than a big, messy explosion. With the snow covering the ground, you can make it even more impactful by using fun colors to highlight the chemical reaction. You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 1/4 cup of dish soap
- A small container
- Food coloring of any color
Add all the ingredients but the vinegar to the container. Bury the container so that its body is hidden entirely in the snow but the top remains open and accessible. Pour in the vinegar and move back — here comes the lava! Your kids will love seeing the red, green, blue or yellow ooze or spray out of the top of the volcano. The snow makes cleanup a breeze, so you can also try it again with other colors.