When the gray skies are endless and the temperature makes you just want to stay inside, it is the perfect time to stimulate the mind with winter-themed science experiments. Our ideas use common household items but bring lots of fun. Here are ten must-try winter science experiments to help beat the winter blues.
Build a crystal snowman
With some pompoms, pipe cleaners and other craft items, you can build your own crystal snowman guaranteed to not melt. Borax is the key ingredient in this fun and frosty experiment. Your crystal snowman is the perfect winter decoration to keep you in a jolly mood. Alternatives to a snowman are crystal snowflakes made from pipe cleaners or salt crystal snowflakes as sometimes borax can be hard to find in stores.
Catch some rays
Save up those clear take-out container tops and make them into beautiful works of art by creating crystal ice sun catchers. Check the weather forecast and pick a sunny day to make your sun catchers for best results. Note: suncatchers are very fragile, so an adult may want to be in charge of the hanging.
Create your own avalanche
There are a few ways to simulate a mini avalanche from the safety of your own home. This hands-on experiment lets kids get a clear picture of science and nature combined. For a great visual of just what happens when an avalanche occurs, try this experiment using little figurines and rocks.
Don’t let that snowball bounce away
With just three ingredients, you can have a bouncing good time this winter. Snowball bouncy balls are fun to create and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face no matter your age. Plus, it’s easy to reshape the balls if they start to look more like pancakes than balls.
A fun alternative to baking soda volcanoes is an exploding snowman. Using most of the same ingredients plus a Ziploc bag, kids will love having Frosty explode over and over again. We recommend doing this one outside or even in the bathtub for quick clean-up. Don’t be shy with the baking soda!RELATED: 5 STEAM Activities to Do with Your Kids at Home
Using a pre-made bubble mix, or a homemade mix of your own, this simple experiment is sure to delight every young scientist. Head outside in the morning or on a calm but frigid day when the temperature is well below freezing (think single digit). Blow bubbles and enjoy how they freeze as they touch the ground.
Hot chocolate surprise
Hot cocoa and winter go hand and hand. Why not have a little chocolate experiment fun by creating a hot chocolate surprise (think a hot cocoa volcano) using vinegar, baking soda and cocoa mix. If you have a meat thermometer, you can do experiments with water, milk, hot cocoa and marshmallows to see what liquid gets hottest and what marshmallows melt the fastest.
Make an ice lantern
Light the night with a beautiful ice lantern made from nature. With some containers, water, food coloring if desired, and natural materials like berries and twigs and tea lights, you can create a beautiful work of art that adds a soft glow
Snowstorm in a jar
While the weather outside might be frightful, kids will love creating their own snowstorm inside. Put aside the gloves and snow pants and gather common household items like a jar, oil, and alka seltzer to brew your own storm. The instructions from Little Bins for Little Hands will tell you all you need to know to concoct the perfect storm.
Storm the snowball fortress
Engineering challenges are always a great way to stimulate creativity and problem-solving. With marshmallows, toothpicks, skewers and Popsicle sticks, kids can engineer their own marshmallow fortress. There are many designs to choose from to protect from a snowball catapult attack.
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