Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

You are a Special Snowflake: Indoor Snow & Ice Activities

You are a Special Snowflake

This is the time of year for winter science with the preschoolers, which includes snow science, snow slime, arctic animals, hibernation, ice science, brrr… you get the idea. Since the weather is sometimes too severe to go outside and explore (or in the case of this winter – warm and rainy), I like to figure out ways to bring the snow and ice indoors.

So, on our “snow science day” I was presenting the idea to one of my preschool classes about how each one of them is completely unique and special- just like a snowflake. When suddenly, this popped in my head…

This, of course, was NOT what I was intending! Preschoolers are generally very open to new ideas, curious, loving, and honest. Children ARE as special as snowflakes (some adults… not so much).

So, I made a special and unique snowflake for each child, using their name as the template to cut out their paper snowflake.

Fold your snowflake paper, and write the name along the fold.

Cut out the name, unfold the paper, and viola!

Six unique snowflakes

*Is it really true that no two snowflakes are exactly alike? I read this article (with beautiful magnified pictures of snowflakes, and videos of snowflake formation and growth) to find out. According to science, two identical snowflakes – on a molecular level – will never happen.*

Ice Surprise

This is one of my most favorite activities for children. The set up is fairly simple, and the surprises locked within the ice can vary for any season or holiday!

First, add a small amount water and some fun surprises to cups – I tried to stay within the snow/ice theme and used glass beads, wooden snowflakes, plastic pearls, and some glitter. Freeze this layer, then add another layer or two of water plus surprises, freezing after each round. Some items sink, and others float – so if you want some items trapped in the middle, you will have to make several layers of frozen water/surprises.

The set up: 1 layer of water and surprises on a baking sheet, ready for the freezer

Then, after your cup of ice is frozen, pop out the solid chunk of ice onto a plate or bowl, and give your child their “tools” – a cup of water and a pipette. They must slowly melt their chunk of ice with drops of water from the pipette to uncover frozen surprises. Even though your child is focused on their “prizes”, they are also working on their fine motor skills with their pipette. (More pipette activities here, here, here, here, and here!)

Melting the ice with a pipette and water

If your child becomes impatient with this process, add warm water to their cups, and ask them if they think the warm water will speed up the melting process.

A cup with treasures, and some treasures still within the ice.

Thank you to all the Adventures in Wonderlab readers out there! I truly appreciate your support and think you are all special snowflakes, too! (the good kind!)

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