First Day Of Winter Science


Freeze a Bubble! If the weather outside is below 32 degrees, you can take your bubble activities outdoors. Blow a bubble and catch it on the wand. Wait and watch as it freezes. It will turn into a crystal ball and then shatter like glass! The children will see the ice crystals form. You can also do this with large bubble wands. Dip the wand into the bubble solution but do not blow a bubble. The crystals will form across the mouth of the wand. Have fun!


Here’s a neat science project for making snowflakes I got off an internet site. Cut a white pipe cleaner into 3 equal sections. Twist together to make a six-sided flake. Tie string from point to point to form the pattern. Tie a piece to the top of one of the pipe cleaners and tie the other end to a pencil (this is to hang from) Fill wide mouth jar with boiling water. Mix in Borax one tablespoon at a time ( 3Tablespoons per cup of water) Stir until dissolved. Maybe some settling. It’s okay. You can add a little blue food coloring at this point to tint the flake. Insert the snowflake into your solution totally submerging the flake. Rest your pencil on the top of the jar letting the flake suspend freely in the solution. Wait overnight and the next day you will have a snowflake covered with tiny crystals. A huge success!


Children predict and experiment what will melt ice the fastest. Salt or water or both. Three pie pans of ice. One for the salt. One for the water. And one for both. Make a chart for the children’s predictions and for the outcomes of their experiment.


Classroom snowman

You will need 3 nylon balloons, salt, felt, scraps of cloth, 1 large bowl, 1 medium bowl, and 1 small bowl, and a large pan or plastic container. First, fill the balloons with water, the kids love to watch the balloon “grow” then tie the tops of them. Place each balloon in one of the bowls and place the bowls in the freezer. Leave them there for at least 12 hours or until the balloons are solidly frozen. Then cut the balloon off and place the ice balls one on top of the other connecting each with salt. The more salt you use the better they will stick together. Then allow the kids to put clothing and body parts on. We gave our class snowman a name and we counted how many days it took before he melted away. This allowed the kids to watch as it melted and they enjoyed seeing all the clothes we had put on our snowman floating on the top of the water in the plastic container.


“Jack Frost” you will need clear glass plate or pie pan petroleum jelly. 1. rub a thick layer of petroleum jelly on the plate. 2. use your fingers to draw a shape in the jelly. 3.put the plate in the freezer for at least 2 hours. 4.when you take it out the plate, it should have frosty designs on it


Build a big snowman and watch it melt…without snow!!! Some packing peanuts are terrific for building. They have a cornstarch base. Have all the children build a snowman by moistening the peanuts and sticking them together. Add personality with eyes, nose, etc.. Then place outside on the playground in the rain. It may take a few days, but it will dissolve! Have fun, and use the peanuts to build igloos and all sorts of projects.


I work with Special children but this idea may be good for others. We fill rubber gloves with water, tie and freeze. Then the children can experience ice without it melting all over! If you wish, take off the glove.


Place an arrangement of flowers and green foliage in a clean, milk carton. Fill the carton with water. Make sure water covers the tops of the arrangement. Place in freezer overnight. Take out of freezer and place on a large tray in the science area. Children will be able to watch the arrangement re-appear as ice melts.


Children will spend long periods of time at the water table when large pieces of hard snow are in it. I give them an assortment of colored water and eye droppers. The children can see the colors mix when they squeeze the colored water into the ice. In upstate NY we are experiencing a January thaw so large chunks of ice are everywhere.


Ice Magic

Suspend an ice cube in a glass of water. Have the children take a piece of string, lay it across the ice and try to pick up the ice with the string. They won’t be able to do this. Tell them to lay the piece of string on the ice again and have them sprinkle a pinch of salt over the string. Count to 10 and lift the string. Magic…it sticks! Have fun watching their expressions. Be prepared to do it over and over again.

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