Since Boise has been getting a plentiful amount of snow this winter, why not do an activity that helps the kiddos apply STEM principles to the snow! This is a great activity for the little ones that want to learn, use their hands, and get outside in the snow.
- 32oz Mason Jar
- Craft supplies for decorating the jar
- plastic ruler
- Large spoons
- Start by having the kids help you decorate the jar to look like a snowman. You can glue buttons or use paint for the snowman's buttons, wrap a ribbon around the jar for a scarf, use orange paper to make a carrot nose, etc.
- Once the jar is decorated, put on your coat and mittens and grab the spoons and head outside.
- Have the kids careful scoop snow into the jar using the spoons until it is completely full.
- Bring the jar back inside, wipe it down and level off the top of the snow.
- Have the kids put the plastic ruler into the jar all the way to the bottom.
- Have them measure and write down the height of the snow. Help and teach them how to read the ruler if needed.
- Then you wait! Set a periodic timer (5 or 1o minutes) and have the kids measure and check on the snow level every time the timer goes off. Record the snow level on a piece of paper so they can observe how fast the snow is melting.
This is a very simple activity to keep the kids engaged and learning. It can be changed and customized in many ways for different learning levels as well!
For example, if you have older kids, you can have them create an experiment and have them test their theory of melting speeds by changing the placement of the jar (ie next to a window, upstairs vs downstairs). They can observe the snow melting and asses their predictions.
- States of Matter: Teach about the different states of matter between the snow outside and when it melts in the jar. Explain the difference between liquid, solid, and gas.
- Melting: Teach about why the snow melts when it's brought inside. You can explain the relationship between temperature and molecules within the matter. As the snow melts, the tightly packed molecules become loosely packed molecules in water.