Winter might mean a ton of snow in your area, and if it does then the perfect winter science activities are at your fingertips. This snow science activity with a melting snowman theme is perfect for exploring in and out of the classroom. There’s nothing better than using the changing seasons to set up fun science and STEM activities for kids of all ages.
MELTING SNOWMAN SNOW SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
WINTER SCIENCE FOR KIDS
The best part of this winter science experiment is that you can use the abundance of snow outside! Now if you don’t have snow where you are, you can still try it with ice cubes!
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT: Our Complete Winter Science and STEM Guide!
Some more quick and fun winter science ideas you can enjoy without snow include:
- Learning how to make frost on a can
- Engineering our own snowball launcher for indoor snowball fights and kids physics)
- Exploring how polar bears stay warm with blubber science!
- Fishing for ice indoors
SUPPLIES FOR MELTING SNOWMAN SCIENCE
Kids can enjoy decorating a snowman jar or container. Glass jars, clear plastic cups, whatever you want to use. It would be best if it was clear so kids can really watch the process along the way.
You can even consider using a zip top gallon bag! Don’t want to decorate a jar, no worries!
NOTE: Depending on your needs, it may be easier to decorate the container after you fill it with snow.
- 32 Oz. Mason Jar
- Black Paint, Sharpies or Markers, Buttons, or Foam Paper
- Orange Foam Paper, Felt or Paper
- Ribbon for Scarf
- Glue (or other adhesive as needed)
- 12″ Plastic Rulers
HOW TO SET UP YOUR SNOW SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
Kids will love helping with this one because it means a trip outside! Plus the melting snowman theme is always a hit. We have more snowman theme science ideas if you click here
Grab the some scoops, your jars, jacket and mittens and head outside. Note whether the snow is wet and heavy, or light and powdery.
TIP: Depending on your needs it may easier to decorate the container after it is filled!
1. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the jar towards the bottom, criss-cross each piece, glue and glue the ends at an angle to look like a scarf.
2. Cut a small triangle from a piece of orange paper and glue it towards the top front center of the jar.
3. Use the puffy paint to draw eyes and a mouth by the nose and let dry overnight.
4. Fill up the jar with snow, wipe the outside dry and bring inside the house.
5. Place a ruler into the jar and press it down to the bottom.
SNOW SCIENCE STEM
Let’s add the math part in to this snow science activity to create great winter STEM! Plastic rulers are the best option since you want to leave the rulers in the jar and observe the melting taking place. We will discuss volume below!
Scroll down for the learning involved in this snow STEM activity.
MEASURE THE SNOW!
Start: 6in of snow in a 32oz jar
End: 1” of water in a 32oz jar
You can set your snowman aside (maybe not right next to a heating vent) and watch what happens over time. Check on it periodically (can make a specific time check in like every 5 mins or 10 mins) and have the kids jot down the time elapsed and the new measurement. Record the final measurement as well.
MAKE IT A SNOW EXPERIMENT
Turn this snow science activity into a snow science experiment by changing one variable, the location.
Experiment 1: Fill several jars and measure the same amount of snow into each one. Leave a jar outside, put a jar in the fridge and freezer, leave one on the counter, put one by the heater… Let your kids decide locations and have them make predictions as to which will melt the fastest! Record measurements for each along the way.
Experiment 2: You can also set up another type of experiment with different types of snow. As I mentioned above, note the type of snow you collected. Is it wet and heavy snow (better for snowballs). Or is it dry and powdery snow (not so great for snow balls). If possible, try this snow science activity on another day with the different type of snow and note the difference in measurements!
Experiment 3: Set up 2 smaller containers with equal snow amounts, sprinkle table salt on one. Which one melts faster?
WHAT’S THE SNOW SCIENCE AND STEM?
There’s a ton of great concepts going on in this super simple snow science activity with a cute snowman theme!
STATES OF MATTER
First you can explore states of matter! Water exists in all three states of matter which are solids, liquids, and gasses. Snow is a solid, rain is a liquid, and water vapor is a gas.
DENSITY AND VOLUME
Snow is matter and density is the weight something has compared to the volume or space the matter takes up! Snow is less dense than water (same with ice). Snow also floats!
The molecules in the water move closer together as the temperature drops below freezing (32 degrees) and ice crystals form. The ice crystals or snowflakes take up more space than the molecules of flowing water. That’s why kids will see much less water in the container after melting.
Once the snow is brought inside or the temperature rises, the snow begins to melt and those tightly packed molecules become loosely packed molecules in water. Placing the containers in different location will speed up or slow down the process.
Melting ice or snow is a physical change but a reversible one since water will become snow or ice again one day!
SIMPLE SNOWMAN SNOW SCIENCE!