The weather outside is frightful, but you can still have a delightful time with your kids. Enjoy some of these snowy day activities with your children today.
Outdoor Snow Activities
1. Build a snowman.
Make one huge one, or lots of little snowmen. Don’t limit yourselves to carrot noses and stocking caps for your creations- dig in the dress up trunk for fairy wings or raid Dad’s tie drawer.
2. Take the snow’s temperature.
If you have snow at least a few inches deep, you may be able to measure the temperature difference between the snow on the surface and the snow on the ground. You will need two thermometers that measure to the tenth of a degree. Use a stick or branch to dig a narrow hole in the snow all the way to the ground. Insert one of the thermometers into the snow at the bottom of the hole. Insert the other thermometer into the snow near the surface, making sure it is out of the sun. Come back to the thermometers after a few hours or the next day and you will see a noticeable difference in temperature between the two layers of snow.
For younger children, have them collect a large cupful of snow while outside. Once inside, check the temperature of the snow as soon as you can. Record the temperature and jot down a quick note about what the snow looks like. While enjoying some hot cocoa, periodically check the snow’s temperature. Have your child observe the changes in the snow’s appearance as its temperature warms.
3) Have a scavenger hunt in the snow.
A snowy scavenger hunt can be fun and educational for your child. Search for things such as an evergreen tree, a deciduous tree, an icicle, or a bird that hasn’t migrated for the winter.
4) Collect snow samples to measure the water density in different snowfalls.
The amount of water in snow is dependent on many factors in the environment and changes with each snowfall. After a few snowfalls, have your child collect a bucketful of snow from various spots in your yard. Try the freshly fallen snow on top of your picnic table in one bucket and snow from your driveway that has been packed down and driven over in another. Use a large measuring cup to make sure you get as close to equal amounts as possible in each bucket. Bring your buckets inside and label them. Once the snow has melted, you will notice that each bucket has a different amount of water. You can tell which snow was denser because it will have produced more water.
This activity is also a good opportunity to introduce your child to the scientific method. Before the snow melts, have your child hypothesize which type of snow will produce the most water.
5) Create a snow obstacle course.
Have your children weave their way through a line of snowmen, roll down a pile of snow, low crawl through the powdery stuff, then use a shovel to fill a wheelbarrow of snow. You are only limited by your imagination here!
6) Observe snowflakes with a magnifying glass.
Bring a magnifying glass with you outside when snow is currently falling. Let your child collect some flakes on their darker colored glove, or bring out a darker colored scarf for them to use for viewing.
Use food coloring to change a snowy white yard into a colorful creation. Dilute the food coloring with a little bit of cold water. Use a medicine dropper, a spray bottle, or even a watering can from your summer garden to distribute the color. You can create pictures or even spell out a greeting for your neighbors.
9) Go sledding.
Many parks open up their hills for sledding or tubing down in the winter. If you don’t have a sledding hill nearby, you can pull your child or even let them pull you around the yard. Fill up the sled with snow and then have time trials to see who can pull it all the way around the house the fastest.
Shovel the driveway, or shovel paths around the yard. Tackle this chore as a family and enjoy the quality time together.
Indoor Snow Activities
1. Make homemade snow cones.
If you don’t have clean snow in your yard, use your blender to pulverize ice cubes into the right consistency. You can flavor the snow cones with store bought syrup or make your own by boiling one cup of water and two cups of sugar until the sugar dissolves, then adding in a packet of drink mix or flavored extract to taste.
2. Melt snow with salt.
This experiment will show your child how salt changes the freezing point of water. Fill two bowls with snow, then bring them inside. Sprinkle a generous amount of table salt in one bowl, then watch to see which bowl of snow melts faster.
3. Create your own snow globe.
This is a fun craft project that is a little more involved. For a list of supplies, and step by step directions, consult this article: www.associatedcontent.com/article/5818098/snow_globe_winter_craft_project.html
A little bit of art, a little bit of science, and a lot of fun.
Snow Temperature Method: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/snow-activities3.htm
Snow Density Experiment: http://www.snowschool.org/snow/teachers/exp_density.htm
Snow Cone Syrup Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Snow-Cone-Syrup-II/Detail.aspx
Snow Globe Idea and Directions: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5818098/snow_globe_winter_craft_project.html?cat=24