School is cancelled. Stuck inside with the kiddos for a few long snow days? Try these five fun snow day science experiments, inspired by my daughter’s love of Sid the Science Kid.
1. Do you have dish soap, hot water, and corn syrup? You can make:
Mix up this soapy solution and blow bubbles. You will need weather less than 5 Fahrenheit, and your bubbles will freeze! Use this science experiment to discuss the differences in the physical properties of regular versus frozen bubbles. Talk about the surface tension needed to make this cool experiment work. Get more details here:
2. Do you have a soda, freezer, time, and plenty of floor-cleaner; (for when the soda inevitably explodes into a sticky shower on your tile floor)?
Make a Soda Slushy
Take a 20 ounce bottle of room temperature soda and shake shake shake! Put the bottle of soda in the freezer for about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Release the pressure, tighten the cap, turn it upside down and the slushy will form in the bottle. You can also release the pressure slowly, take the cap off, and pour it in a chilled bowl to form slush.
3. Do you have a balloon?
This is a great way to introduce kids to the scientific concepts of contraction and expansion. Blow up a balloon and tie it somewhere outside. If it is below freezing, you will notice that it will quickly deflate. If it is a little warmer, it might take a little longer for it to deflate. Now, bring the balloon inside and watch it reinflate in the warm air. Explain that as air gets colder, the molecules crowd closer together and the balloon loses volume. So, the balloon looks deflated, and that is called contraction. When the air heats, the molecules spread out again, and the balloon reinflates. This is called expansion.
4. Do you have a coffee can, plastic 12inch ruler, and clear packaging tape?
Tape the ruler inside the coffee can so that the bottom of the ruler is touching the bottom of the can. Place the can upright, outside, in an open area where snow falls. Measure the amount of snow that fell, using the ruler taped to the coffee can. Then let the snow melt indoors and measure again. Discuss if there was a difference in the measured amounts of snow vs. water.
5. Do you have lots of patience, clothes you don’t care about, spray bottles, and food coloring?
Go far away from the house and anything else that you especially like or enjoy in its original color. Dress your kids in that ugly sweater grandma got them last Christmas or anything else you genuinely hate and head outside. Using a marker, mark lines on the spray bottle to divide it into four equal parts. Fill the bottle ¾ full with water. Add drops of food coloring to the bottles. Spray the different colors in the snow, make a rainbow snowman, or color your snow angel. Use this to discuss fractions such as: When you start with ¾ of the bottle filled with water and use ¼, how much remains. You could also mix colors and discuss what happens.
-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Parrish Learning Zone, LLC
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