Grab those mittens and button up your coats because these brain-boosting activities are “snow” much fun! It’s easy to find educational opportunities on a winter day. With a little imagination, even the snowiest conditions can become learning experiences. Check out these six ideas for educational fun with snow.
Snow Sensory Bin
One of the easiest ways to have some educational fun in the snow is to create a Snow Sensory Bin. Fill an empty plastic bin with snow and toss in some scoopers, cups, measuring spoons, small cars, trucks, and anything else you think little hands might enjoy. Sensory bins encourage creative play, help sharpen fine motor skills, and keeps messes contained. You can even bring your snow sensory bin indoors, but hurry, it won’t last long — unless you use Cra-Z-Snow from Cra-Z-Art!
Simple Snow Science
It’s fun to experiment with snow in the wintertime! Grab some empty jars or containers and create your very own snow experiment center. Fill half a jar with snow and bring it inside. Estimate how long it will take to melt. Fill another jar with room temperature water and add snow to it. Now how long will the snow take to melt in the water? What happens if you keep the jar outside? What happens if you place it in the sun? Mark the jars with a wipe-off marker or Sharpie and keep a journal of what you find. Be sure to check out my other suggestions for keeping kids busy this winter, too!
Sure, we’ve all made snowmen before, but what about snow art? Making colorful snow art is really easy with your very own Snow Paint. Just mix a few drops of food coloring in a spray or squirt bottle with cold water. Shake well and use outside to spray colorful designs in the snow. **Note that food coloring can stain hands and clothing, so be sure to wear old mittens or gloves or seek out skin-safe liquid color (like the kind used for soap making).
Nature lovers, unite! Here’s a snow activity just for you. Put on those sleuthing hats and seek out some winter snow tracks. Take photos or draw pictures of what you find and see if you can identify who or what made the tracks. Look in the woods, on sidewalks, even on tree bark to see if you can find unusual tracks. Grab a magnifying glass and examine snowy tracks up close. Can’t find any snow tracks? Make some of your own! Try making tracks with different shoes. Compare sizes and shapes, or see what happens to the tracks after a few days. Do they disappear or shrink? Do they spread out? Keep a chart or journal of what you find.
Maybe outdoor snow experimenting isn’t for you, or maybe you live someplace warm and the chances of seeing snow are pretty slim. Never fear, you can make your own snow! Create an Instant Snow Sensory Bin just like the one mentioned above. Ooze Labs Super-Expanding Instant Snow from Thames and Kosmos offers an opportunity to create non-toxic instant snow that expands right before your eyes. Looking for more indoor snow fun? Check out these Five Snow Themed Toys to Play with Indoors by Charlene DeLoach.
Feed the Birds
Making simple snowbird feeders inspires a love of nature, helps with fine motor skills and encourages good observation habits when kids can watch and see who comes to their handmade feeders. Consider adding some birdseed to a snowman to create an instant feeder. Make a bowl shape in the snow and add some birdseed or cracked corn. See who comes to your instant feeder and record or draw your findings!
Of course, not every snow activity needs to be educational! Head outdoors and try out some of these fun games to play in the snow, courtesy of fellow Toy Insider Parent Darcy Zalewski, or check out my list of fun things to do on a School Snow Day.