My favorite part of winter in Missouri is the snow. Bring a bucket or two inside for some snowy science activities. If there is no snow, you can make your own by crushing ice in a blender.
Snow Sensory Bin
Let’s start simple with a bin of snow and some measuring cups. Add some spoons and bowls to the mix. Invite your child to explore.
Encourage them to move the snow from one container to another. Compare the amounts. Which container holds more snow? Can you use the measuring cups to build snow castles? How tall can you build?
Snow Melting Investigation
What happens to snow when you bring it inside? It melts. Fill a container with snow. (A small container is fine.)
Be sure to point out where the snow level is. Is it completely full? We drew a line in our bucket to mark the level.
Bring the snow inside and wait for it to melt. Where is the water level? Is it the same as the snow level in the container? The water level should be lower. Water takes up less space than snow or ice. This is because water expands when it freezes. Snow is made of ice and air.
Can we change how long it takes snow to melt? In our melting snow investigation, we brought the snow inside to watch it melt. What was the temperature inside the house? Is it possible to make the snow melt slower (or faster) by placing it in a different location?
Let your child choose a few locations – you might make some suggestions like the refrigerator, the freezer, near a window, near a heating vent, outside in the shade, outside in the sun, etc. Predict which location will melt the fastest.
Place the same amount of snow in three different containers of the same size. Place each container in a location of your choice. Check on them frequently and see which one melts first. Was your prediction correct?
Temperature affects how quickly the snow melts. The warmest location should have melted first. Did you observe this? If not, what do you think happened?
Bonus experiment: What happens when you add water to snow? Find out in this snow and water science experiment.