Winter Science Activities for Kids

My family is looking forward to another snow day. The kids are hoping for another day off from school, and I want another day off from work to spend more time with the kids, doing fun things at home! Snow days are perfect for staying in our pj’s, cuddling up on the sofa watching movies, and drinking hot cocoa. If I have all the ingredients available, I like to make a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and/or bake a sweet treat with the kiddies. During one of our snow days in early January, we played board games, and the girls worked on some DIY projects. Because it was right after the Christmas break, Ayden was still excited about his new toys and spent extra time playing with them.  20171225_190652.jpg

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Oh, and let’s not forget the most important snow day activity — going outside and playing in the snow. And lucky for me and Larry, my teens don’t mind cleaning the snow off the car and clearing a path in front of our house. I’m blessed that I don’t have to go out and play in the snow with them. I did that with the first three, but there’s no need for me to do that with Ayden because his two sisters will go out there with him. They make snow castles, build a snowman, paint the snow, and make snow angels. I get to watch them play from the window. I’m getting older, y’all, and I don’t feel like playing in the snow! And if I went outside with them, who would make their hot chocolate?

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Anyway, winter isn’t over yet — there’s still time for snowflakes to land and pile up in our backyard, so we’ll keep hope alive! In the meantime, Ayden and Mikayla had their own little snow fun by doing a few winter science activities indoors. Check these activities out!

Soft Snow Slime

Gather your supplies:

  • ½ cup white glue
  • 2 cups shaving cream
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2-3 tbsp. contact solution/saline solution
  • White iridescent or light blue glitter (optional)

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What to do:

  1. Pour glue into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in shaving cream.
  3. Gently mix in cornstarch.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of the contact/saline solution.
  5. Mix in glitter, if using.
  6. Knead the slime.
  7. Add more contact solution a little at a time to your hands and knead the slime for about three more minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.
  8. Have FUN!!!
  9. After playing with the slime, store it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

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Notes: The baking soda aids in firming up the slime. The solution is the activator to get the slime to the right consistency. Make sure the solution has boric acid in it. The more solution you add, the less sticky the slime will be. Add a little at a time and knead in between adding more solution because, after a while, it will form a non-sticky slime. If you prefer your slime to be sticky and droopy, you won’t need to add extra solution.

Snowflakes Playdough

Gather your supplies:

  • 2 cups cornstarch (refrigerated)
  • 1 cup lotion (refrigerated)
  • White iridescent glitter

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What to do:

  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Once the dough begins to form, knead it until it is pliable.
  3. If it’s crumbly, add a little more lotion to make it a soft, stretchy dough consistency.
  4. Squish, pat, mold, poke, and roll the playdough for fun!
  5. Store playdough in a zipped bag or an airtight container with a lid.
  6. Place it in a refrigerator to keep as cold as snow.

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Notes: You can use a generic brand for the products. I had products available that were purchased at minimal amounts due to my husband’s coupon hobby. For extra fun, provide your child with a variety of play props (cookie cutters, pine cones, animals, snowflake confetti, etc.). For added sensory experiences, the lotion gives the playdough a nice scent and it provides a cold and soft texture for the hands. I find it to be a very calming activity.

Play Snow

Gather your supplies:

  • 2 cups of cold baking soda
  • ½ cup cold white hair conditioner

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What to do:

  1. In a large bowl, mix both ingredients together until mixture is light and crumbly resembling snow.
  2. You may need to squirt in extra lotion to achieve the right consistency. We dumped the snow onto a foil pan for a better play experience (and easier clean-up).

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Notes: You can use a generic brand for the products. I had products available that were purchased at minimal amounts due to my husband’s coupon hobby. For additional experiences, give your child some props to play in the snow with (cars, trucks, animals, etc.). And just like the snow playdough, the hair conditioner gives the play snow a nice scent and it provides a cold and soft texture for the hands. This activity kept Ayden busy for 40 minutes.

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Sparkle Snow Paint

Gather your supplies:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • White iridescent glitter (optional)

20180209_113754.jpgWhat to do:

  1. Mix the three ingredients in a large bowl and stir until smooth.
  2. Provide your child with heavy construction paper or cardstock and a paintbrush and let them go to town!
  3. Sprinkle glitter on top of the paint for an extra touch!

Notes: Ayden and Mikayla used the snow paint to recreate snow scenes from one of Ayden’s favorite books, The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats. I found this idea and the templates for the character Peter from the book on The Primary Theme Park’s website. Be careful not to use too much paint because it will take a long time to dry and after it’s dried, some parts will still look wet.

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20180202_195113.jpgAll of these projects are great for developing fine-motor skills, which prepare children for writing. In addition, talking with your child about the steps and what is happening helps improve their language skills. With any activity that requires you to measure and combine ingredients, it enhances children’s math and science learning.

When you try any of these winter activities with your family, be sure to share your experience with us!

 

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