Why not bring the outside in!! Here’s some ways to get kids playing and learning about snow and ice inside. These activities combines sensory (feel of snow, texture, properties as it starts to melt) and science (colors combine as the snow melts).
- Fill tupperware bins or buckets with snow and bring them inside. Let the kids explore the snow with their hands*, shovels, different sizes and shapes of containers, spoons, etc. Later, add small drops of food colouring in pairs. In one section add red and blue (will combine to purple as the snow melts). In other sections and red and yellow (makes orange), and blue and yellow (makes green). You can show the kids how the snow melts even faster by adding some warm water.
- *Have some pairs of mitts handy for chilly hands.
- Another day, do as above but with ice cubes instead of snow, and watch them melt. Add the food colouring and observe how the colours mix while they melt.
- Insulation Experiment: Each child chooses a fabric or material that he/she thinks will best insulate an ice cube and make it melt slower. Offer choices that you know will and won’t work: aluminum foil, styrofoam cups, bubble wrap, a bowl, paper etc. Each child wraps their ice cube in their material and puts it on a paper plate with their name on it. Leave them on a table in the room, come back later and see who still has some ice cube left. Explain how some materials hold heat (or cold) in better than others. Relate it to animals and their fur, for example polar bears. You can explain why we wear winter clothes and jackets, using layers to trap air to keep us warm. Ask them to try their experiment again and see if they can make their ice cubes last longer.