Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I love doing easy science experiments with kids! The children that I teach are very excited about the snow on the ground right now. I wanted to do a fun experiment with them involving the snow as they learned a little bit about the properties of water – in a kid friendly way.
The idea for these easy science experiments started after a group of children had created, adorable mini snowmen at recess and really wanted to bring them into class.
I thought that this would be a great learning experience for them to see what happened to the snow when it was brought indoors.
You can keep this experiment really simple and only use snow to create your snowman. I added details to our snowman just for fun, like eyes and a scarf.
It was also a good way for children to see that it was only the snow that changes states, from solid snow to liquid water, the added details stay the same. To do the experiment the same way that I did you will need the following.
- Snow to Create Your Snowman
- Googly Eyes
- Felt Scarf
- Carrot for the Nose
- Black Beads for the Mouth
- Bowl or Container (To set snowman in as it melts)
Once you have everything you need to create your snowman, roll your snow into three balls and create the body and head. Next, add the details to the snowman like the eyes, nose, mouth, buttons and scarf.
I had each child create their own small snowman and let them add a few details to theirs. It was a fun creating period, but they had to create fairly fast so that their snowman didn’t melt right away.
For our bigger, class snowman, I really wanted to keep him looking a bit like a snowman for awhile so I hot glued a toothpick to the back of the buttons and eyes and then inserted them into the snow. I also did this because I couldn’t get the eyes and buttons to stay on the snow.
Melting Snowman Steps
Once you have created your snowman, or each child has created their own, now everyone gets to be a scientist and observe. This is a great lesson in science because children have to be patient.
Place your snowmen in a safe place in the room and keep checking on at least every hour.
The initial melting of the snowman is fairly noticeable because a few parts are likely to slip off the snowman as it melts.
After an hour you will already notice a difference. By the end of the day, depending on the temperature in the classroom, your snowman will be a puddle of water.
I love the fact that this experiment takes place over the course of the day. It leads to excitement throughout the day as the snowman changes as it melts.
Allow the children to watch and keep an eye on their snowman as they go about their day. These regular observations will help them learn how the snow changes and what it looks like as it melts.
It is interesting to compare the before and after of the snowman. It also can lead to a great discussion about the changes children see. Does the amount of water look like less than the snow? Why?
Snowman in a Cup Experiment
Having 25 mini snowmen in a room can take up and lot of room and it can get messy. An easier way for each child to do the experiment, is by giving each child a clear plastic cup.
This also works really well with really young children who may have trouble creating their own snowman.
When I did this experiment using cups, I prepared the cups ahead of time. You can purchase snowman stickers for the cups that children can stick on and make their own snowman face. (Link for stickers below.)
Once the cups are filled with snow, you can bring them inside and set them in a safe space in the room. Children will love watching their snowman melt.
Using the cups are always a great way for children to see that the snow takes up more space then the water when it melts. When the snow melts down only about half of the cup is full.
To add to this experiment, looking at the melted water can also show children that often the snow is not clean as clean as it may look and is filled with lots of sand or dirt.
Extension Activities for More Easy Science Experiments
After your snowman melts, you can continue the experiment by leaving the container with the water and snowman parts in the room. Although it will take awhile, you can leave the water out and let it evaporate.
By leaving the water out children will gain a further understanding of the water cycle. Over days they will start to notice less and less water in the container. Eventually all that will be left is the container with some eyes, nose, and other snowman details.
Soon all of the water will be gone and even the scarf will be dry. In the end, children will gain a basic understanding that their snowman did not disappear, but rather that it evaporated and the snow/water that it was made up of is now in the air.
This activity also worked well for grade 2 science as an introduction to the states of matter! Disappearing water, and snowmen, are always exciting.
Another idea, to integrate some math into the experiment is if you used a clear container to set your snowman in as it melts, you can mark the water level right after your snowman melted and then check on it each day. It creates a great discussion as the snowman slowly disappears.
Also, to integrate more math into the experiment, you could measure the snowman’s height as it melts to record how much shorter he becomes each hour.
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