Monday, March 3, 2014

Seasonal Science: Activities for Winter

The winter weather is still in full force here in Virginia, and I am determined to make the most of these final snow days! As tempting as it may be to just stay snuggled under blankets in front of the TV, I'm hoping to bring Babygirl out to play and learn after the wind dies down in the afternoon. Here are some Seasonal Science ideas to investigate with your little ones. If they're preschool age, you can discuss these together out loud, or have added fun by using a notebook as an Observation Journal to record notes!
  • Snow can be a great sensory development experience for children. Ask questions about how the snow feels -- cold? crunchy? soft? What do you hear when you walk on it? Can you see any grass or other plants peeking out from the white snow? And if you're confident it's clean, you might even want to test if it tastes or smells different from the water you drink.
  • Snow also captures animal tracks. Look around a park or your backyard and try to determine what animals have passed through. Even if you're in a more developed area without deer or foxes, you can still find paw prints from neighborhood dogs on the sidewalks.
  • Grab a ruler to measure icicles. See who can find and record the longest one!
  • If your family loves friendly competition, you can also try to see who can roll the biggest snowball. Use a ruler to measure the diameter (and maybe add a new word to their vocabulary!).
  • Brainstorm different ways to make snow melt. Does it turn into water faster when it's in your hand, in the microwave, or in a bowl at room temperature? Why?
  • Do you live near a lake or creek? What temperature is it outside when it freezes over? How much does it need to warm up before the surface melts again?
What other fun science activities do you do with kids when it snows? Share the fun in the comments!

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