Fun with Snow: Shovels Optional

Here are a bunch of snow activities to try, to celebrate last week’s first intense snow of the year.

Make a Snowflake:

Fold a piece of paper or a coffee filter in half.  Then fold it in thirds from the middle point.  (As if you were making ‘pizza slice’ shapes, so that you have 6 triangles.)  Trim the edges so that you have roughly a circle, if you are using a regular piece of paper.  Cut along the edges and folds, then unfold for a proper 6 pointed snowflake!

If you want to avoid the blizzard of cut paper pieces, try an online snowflake-maker, here: http://snowflakes.barkleyus.com/

Outdoor Snow Fun:

1. Jump snow hurdles: Lightly pack a bunch of basketball-size snowballs. Use them to build a course of hurdles to jump over in a round of follow the leader.

2. Get on a roll: Pair up for a contest in which the object is to finish with the biggest snowball. The contest ends when the teams can no longer roll their entries or when you run out of snow.

3. Catch a snowflake: Find out what’s different ? and the same ? about a bunch of snowflakes. Catch some on a piece of black construction paper or a dark mitten or sweater.  At The Discovery Museums, we have a bunch of blue-velvet covered cardboard squares available for snow-catching.  We tend to store them in the freezer so they’re snow-ready!

4. Make an iceberg float: Invite kids to make two miniature icebergs (snowballs), one packed very hard and the other fairly soft. Indoors, fill a bucket or basin with cold water, put the snowballs in it, and watch what happens. (Because the hard snowball has air bubbles trapped inside, it will float higher in the water than the softer one.)

Stay tuned next week for icy cool science!

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