Science Experiments Snow much fun!
If you have a snow day and are looking for some simple science experiments, you are in the right place! These winter science activities are a great way to engage your students with the scientific method. These fun winter science experiments are just what you need when there is a little bit of cold weather.
With each of these winter experiments, we will hand to be intentional. Therefore, we follow the 7 scientific steps to the scientific method:
- Simply make an observation
- Ask a question based on this observation.
- Form a hypothesis (a testable explanation)
- Make a prediction based on your hypothesis
- Test the prediction to see what happens
- Use those results to continue your exploration (make a new hypothesis or prediction)
In early childhood education, this often takes place orally, but students can also draw pictures or write!
Fake Snow Recipes
These snow science experiments are all about the chemical reaction that is taking place. Kids of all ages, even those who do not live in cold temperatures, will have a great time making fake snow. You may want to ask your students how this fake snow is different than real snow. Students may want to observe this classic experiment over a few days in a class science journal or anchor chart.
- Fake Snow Recipe with Baking Soda and Conditioner – Simply mix 2 1/2 cups of baking soda with 1/2 cup of white conditioner.
- Fake Snow Recipe with Baking Soda and Shaving Cream – This recipe calls for 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of shaving cream. You will want to mix these two ingredients with a fork, so you get fluffy snow. Keep adding a few drops of water until it starts to look snow-like. Your room humidity may require you to add a little more water or baking soda.
Steve Spangler’s Website has Insta-Snow powder. The superabsorbent polymer powder comes in a small container, but it will grow by 100 times! You will want to be sure there is plenty of room in the container. Be sure to follow the detailed instruction information and be careful not to add too much water. This simple experiment provides lots of sensory play opportunities. As the water molecules evaporate, you will notice the snow-like appearance start to fade. Students will notice the snow has returned to white powder. Here is a little magic trick: spray the snow with water and fluff it up again. Be careful not to add too much liquid at a time.
Snow Volcano Experiment
If you get snow in the winter season, this is a simple experiment you can do on the playground. (You can also do this with sand.) This is another chemical reaction that takes place by mixing an acid (white vinegar) and a base (baking soda). This produces a fizzy gas called carbon dioxide. When you add dish soap and food coloring, your little scientists will have so much fun. You can read more about this science lesson in this article:
You can also see the steps for this snow volcano in the video below.
Frozen Soap Bubbles
A frozen bubble is an example of a physical reaction. They are a lot of fun and a simple idea. Simply freeze bubbles!
If your winter weather dips below zero degrees Fahrenheit or negative 18 degrees Celsius, chances are you won’t be outside for very long. You might even get a great result if your temperatures are in the 20s. However, you can make frozen soap bubbles. You will want to be sure your soap solution is warm or hot, then go outside to blow the bubbles. Try to catch them on the wand and watch them freeze!
If it is not cold enough for you to do this fun experiment, you can always check out this video by Canadian photographer Christ Ratzlaff. I love how you can see the ice crystals in his video. It is stunning!
Maple Syrup Snow Candy
To make maple syrup taffy (also known as snow taffy), you need REAL maple syrup and a lot of snow (make sure it is right after a snow storm or fresh snow). If you are making the candy outdoors, add cups of snow to a pan and make sure it is packed down so it will hold the hot syrup. If the winter months are brutal in your next of the woods, you could also bring a pan of snow into your classroom. Again, you will want to pack the snow. Here is how to make it:
- Heat maple syrup until it starts to boil.
- Once the syrup is between 235-240 degrees Fahrenheit, you will pour it in lines in the snow. (BE CAREFUL… it is VERY hot).
- Place a craft or popsicle stick into the syrup. As the syrup begins to cool, you will want to roll the stick, so the candy wraps around it.
- Alternatively, you can make individual pieces of candy and omit the stick.
If you don’t have fresh snow, you can also crush up ice cubes in a tray.
The Science Behind Snow Candy
The process of heating the syrup evaporates some of the water. The syrup cools quickly in the snow, so it can’t hold all the sugar. Consequently, some solid sugar crystals form, giving the candy a semi-solid consistency.
This easy experiment answers the question, How does frost form? Well, the air around us can hold a lot of water. Often times we don’t see the frost around us, but we can see it when it condenses on cars and windows. Colder surfaces condense the water vapor. In the springtime, we may see dew on the grass. However, colder surfaces will freeze the water vapor and that is when we see frost.
For this easy winter science experiment, you will:
- Use an empty tin can or jar and fill it with crushed ice.
- Add salt to the ice.
- Within a few minutes, students notice frost starting to form.
- Encourage the kids to examine the frost with a magnifying glass.
- Ask: Can you see the tiny crystal snowflakes?
You can find the science response page by clicking:
Additional Winter Science Lessons
I am a huge fan of SciKids on YouTube! This is a great information source for your students.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant Read Aloud Lesson Plans
We love the beautiful language in Cynthia Rylant’s book Snow (affiliate link). You might say that I am a Cynthia Rylant junkie! This is a book that you will want in your collection! In our reading comprehension units, we work on figurative language using this book.
If you are a Cynthia Rylant junkie like me… Can you spy her other book in this illustration? Can you see the book Scarecrow on the table? My students squealed with delight when they noticed it!
Snow Figurative Langage Lesson
Here is an anchor chart that we used to document our thinking around the figurative language found in this mentor text.
Students draw pictures to express their understanding. Displaying the figurative language worksheet on the interactive whiteboard is a helpful way to support students and their approximations.
Then students complete their own figurative language worksheet response page.
Here are few more reading comprehension response pages for the book Snow.
This fun craft is also part of our Snow Lesson Plans unit of study. We love how they turned out!
Snow Literacy Centers and Worksheets
Here are a few additional activities we use as learning centers.
I will link these activities (images) to the product so you can find it if you wish.
These snowflake phonics centers have two levels. Long or short o or three different vowel sounds. By offering students choices, they are more likely to be engaged in learning that is just right for them.
Snow Math Centers
These winter math centers also have two different levels of difficulty.
Each of these snowflake activities ask kindergarten or first grade students to work with subtraction.
Here are some of the winter worksheets that are also included in the Science, Math, and More activity pack.
Winter Blog Posts for Kindergarten and First Grade
I hope you were able to find a few cool winter science experiments you can use with your young children or students!
Here are few more blog posts with winter activities and learning that might come in handy.
- Melting Ice Experiments FUN! (free file)
- Winter Kindergarten Activities | Free Literacy Center!
- 3 Free Printable Kindergarten Winter Math Activities
- Engaging Polar Express Activities (Free File) for Kindergarten & First Grade
If you are looking for more read aloud lesson plans like this one, here are a few that are perfect for winter!