Along with the shorter days of winter come amazing opportunities for science exploration and fun. Listed below are activities for all ages (even some for mom or dad!) along with some ideas for investigating the science of winter inside or out. Whether you are exploring the great frigid outdoors or curled up by the fire with a good book, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun and learning during the winter months. Check them out and let us know which ones are your favorites!
Projects for Young Learners (ages 3-5)
- Read the book, Snowflake Bentley, together, then cut out your own snowflakes or try to view your own under a microscope!
- Make pony bead suncatchers. You likely have all the materials you need on hand, and you can learn about melting (aka phase transitions) at the same time!
- Create a paper circuit snowman. Little hands can help lay down the copper tape, connect LEDs, and decorate this fun art meets science project.
- Make a Snowstorm in a jar. This snowstorm in a jar is such a cool winter science experiment! It uses simple materials and it’s a great way to learn about the weather, density, and other cool science topics!
- Do you have a penguin-lover? Get free penguin theme printables for learning!
- Make Birdseed ornaments– Watch what kinds of birds are still out in the cold weather.
- Make Maple Syrup Snow Candy– Are you reading aloud “Little House in the Big Woods”? Here’s a fun activity straight out of the book.
- Ice Excavation Experiment– This would be fun with a Lego mini-figure or any type of small toy.
- Make a Snow volcano– This is some messy outside learning fun!
- Build bouncy snowballs with liquid starch and Elmer’s glue.
Projects for Older Learners (ages 5-99+)
- Make a levitating Santa sleigh. This is a great spin on the old magnets on a pencil trick, plus it combines art and science, which means kids can learn without “learning” in the traditional setting.
- Make an LED snowman. This is a natural growth from the paper snowman circuit we listed in our young learner’s area. This LED snowman is 3D and will be the perfect addition to your fireplace mantle for years to come.
- Grow a crystal tree. This project is perfect for those in warm climates that won’t get the snowy treescape we all associate with winter. Plus, it doesn’t need any hard-to-source ingredients!
- Create a snowball catapult. This engineering challenge promises fun and frustration in the perfect mix to help kids learn about the engineering process, physical principles, and more.
- Test out the Mpemba effect.– Does hot water really freezer faster than cold water? Try it out and see!
- Study the science of snowflakes. Did you know that every snowflake has six sides? Learn about this and other fascinating snow facts!
- Discover the beauty of frozen bubbles. Head outside to blow bubbles when the temps are below freezing and watch the magic happen! (No freezing temperatures where you live? This link has tips for trying this with dry ice.)
- Learn about condensation and frost. Use snow or ice cubes for this winter science experiment that explores condensation and the formation of frost. All you need is some metal cans and salt.
- Dig deeper into snow science. How does atmospheric temperature affect the water content of snow?
- Make an igloo– Freeze blocks of ice (milk cartons work well) and create a life-size igloo
Winter Activities Just for Fun
- Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? – Find out how to make fake snow
- Freeze water with just a touch. Just like Elsa, the Snow Queen!
- Create 3D Paper Snowflakes and decorate the indoors for winter!
- Make a warm blanket– With finger knitting, it is easier than you think!
- Friluftsliv– Have you heard of this Danish concept?
- Create handmade Valentines! – Take advantage of freezing temps and get a jump on the February holiday!
- Write a handwritten letter to family or friends who live far away.
- Have a family pajama day- Cuddle up and read a book
- Game night! Gather your family for a game night with your favorite board games, puzzles, card games, and plenty of snacks.
- Go sledding. -No sled? No problem, look at these creative ideas.
We hope you enjoy these creative science-based projects with your family! Be sure to let us know which ones you loved.