Mischief with Jack Frost—Activities, Experiments and Projects to keep Kids Learning and Boredom at Bay!
Winter can seem like it is going to go on forever! Fortunately, winter can also be darn cool (and I don’t mean the temperature); I mean, there are some pretty fantabulous experiments, projects, and activitiesthat are really fun to try out during the snowy days controlled by Jack Frost.
Stop and smell the roses. The roses?! It’s winter!
Stopping to smell the roses is important in life because it allows kids and parents to slow down and notice the beauty Mother Nature has created. Stopping long enough to really see the snowflakes fall is the winter alternative. Take a piece of black construction paper outside and let the snow fall onto the paper. Snap close-ups of 10 or so different flakes. While you’re at it, stick your tongue out and catch a few! With your child and a cup of hot cocoa, come in and examine the photos of each flake. Does each snowflake have six sides? Are all of them different? Test those scientific claims.
Live like the Aleut!
Make an igloo just like the Aleut’s of Alaska. Utilize your sandcastle building skills and get the recycling out and make blocks with the bottoms of milk jugs. You can even add a little food coloring to jazz up your winter abode. The igloo will present a number of challenges for your adult brain and will get those kids problem-solving in no time. If you want someone else to tell you how to do it, check out Kids Craft Room article on How to Build an Igloo, or JerryRigEverything.com for step by step directions for a simple igloo. You might also consider a fort made of snow blocks and forge an epic snowball battle.
If a larger than life home is too daunting, or your children are too little, consider having the kids build one out of mini ice cubes and salt.. While you are at it, you can have a good discussion on why salt is put down on the roads. And hey, while we are looking for teachable moments, why not do a little research on the Aleut because they are fascinating people; I mean they use all parts of the whale for a number of purposes including lighting their homes.
Do you want to build a snowman?
Not everyone lives in Arendelle with Elsa and Olaf. No snow? You just have to make some of your own “indoor” snow. Best part, you don’t need a fancy science experiment kit. Watch the video at DaveHax.com for a fast and fun project to make your own winter fun. It only takes hair conditioner (white) and baking soda.
Who doesn’t like bubbles?
Everyone loves blowing bubbles. Bubbles don’t just have to be for the summertime. With the Bomb Cyclone hitting the Western U.S. with a vengeance, it opens up opportunities for some super cool projects. Blow your bubbles in the freezing air and watch them turn into a futuristic looking sphere. If the weather is too warm? No problem, you can do the same activity with dry ice, click the link for directions from ThoughtCo.com
When the Weatherman Can’t, the Candy Man Can!
If you can’t get outdoors because the Bomb Cyclone has you pinned in the house, try making some ice candy (actually it is more commonly known as rock candy, but who is splitting snowflakes here?). Your kids will learn about crystallization. They can also see how sugar has multiple personalities and changes from a solid to a liquid and then back to a solid. The ice candy does take a couple weeks to complete so it is best done with older children who won’t lose their marbles waiting, or you can go buy some finished product to have right now and eat your experiment later. Check out the video created by The Sci Guys for the step-by-step instructions.
Keep the ice, ice coming baby while kids continue learning and having fun even when it’s a snow day! These projects and many more are available all over the internet; all it takes is a few words and some clicks. There is even a page on pinterest specifically titled “Winter STEM activities” that will warm your heart even if your fingers and toes are frozen!