Best Winter Science Experiments for Kids
Chilly winters usually means spending more time indoors, and spending time indoors means keeping your kids engaged in some activity or the other throughout the day. Changes in the weather and holidays mean there are lots of opportunities to explore some new and exciting science experiments. Winter is a great time to try out inexpensive and exciting science experiments with your kids.
Young kids are always curious about how the world works and these winter science experiments help them explore, think, observe, test and discover. With these science experiments, encourage your kids to make predictions, discuss observations, and re-test their ideas if they don’t get the desired results the first time.
Here are some of our favourite winter science experiments for kids:
1. Bird Seed Ornaments: Take care of your feathered friends as you explore winter science and learn about the birds in your backyard. For this winter science experiment, start off by mixing some gelatin with a half cup of cold water until it’s all dissolved. Now add a half cup of boiling water (with the help of an adult) to the bowl, and stir it slowly until it's completely dissolved. Next, add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and again, stir until dissolved. Finally, it’s time for you to mix in the bird seed and spoon the seed mixture into the cookie cutters. To make a hole for your twine, push the straw into the birdseed. Press around the straw to ensure the seeds will hold shape around the hole. Place the cookie cutters in the fridge to set overnight. Once set, remove the cookie cutters by gently pushing at the edges until it falls out, taking extra care with detailed cookie cutters. Pop the straws out & thread the twine and you have your bird seed ornaments ready!
2. Snow Volcano: If you have a snowy winter where you live, this fun winter science experiment is perfect for kids of all ages. In a tall cup or plastic bottle, add 1 tablespoon of dish soap, fill halfway with baking soda and mix in 1/4 cup of warm water. Add several drops of red food coloring in the cup. Place the cup in the snow and build a snow volcano around the cup and ensure to leave a hole in the top for the lava to come out. Have the kids pour the vinegar in the hole of the volcano and watch it erupt.
3. Snow Storm in a Jar: For this inexpensive winter science experiment, Add 1 cup of water to the vase or large jar and mix in one teaspoon of paint. Then, pour oil almost to the top of the container. Break some Alka seltzer tablet into pieces and drop one at a time into the oil and watch the blizzard unfold! This fun chemistry experiment will teach your kid about density, carbon dioxide and much more.
4. Frost on a Can: You might need to go into the recycling container for this one, because who doesn’t love a best out of waste science experiment? Let’s get started learning how to make frost on a can! First, fill the can with ice. Next, you will add a layer of salt and cover with the can’s lid. Then all you need to do is shake and watch the frost form! Shake up the ice and salt and look out for the frost forming on the outside of the can. Shaking the ice and salt together creates a chemical reaction. The melting ice reacts with the salt and actually creates a cooler temperature that goes below freezing. The moisture from the air will collect on the outside of the can and will actually freeze because of this lower temperature and form the frost. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
5. Snowball Launcher: If you have a lot of snow outside, this DIY science experiment makes for a perfect indoor activity while teaching your young kid about design and physics. First, you will want to cut the bottom out of a plastic cup, but leave the rim for strength or else the cup will crumple. This is a good step for the adults to do and can be prepped ahead of time for larger groups! Make sure to trim off any jagged edges. Next, you want to tie a knot in the neck of a balloon and cut the bottom end of the balloon. Once you have that done, either tape or glue the balloon to the bottom (where you have cut the hole) of the cup, and there you have it - a snowball launcher! Turn this fun time into an experiment by asking your kids to compare different launch items to see what works best and flies the farthest. You can even take measurements and record data to extend the learning portion of this winter STEM activity.
6. DIY Thermometer: For this simple chemistry experiment, first take a mason jar and add red food coloring, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup alcohol and a tablespoon of oil and mix it all together. Stick the straw through the straw hole and tighten the lid onto the jar. Mold a piece of playdough on the lid around the straw, which will hold the straw about 1/2” from the bottom of the jar. Place your DIY thermometer outside in the cold or in the fridge and look at the difference in how high the liquid rises in the straw at different temperatures. With this DIY thermometer, you can teach your kid about temperatures.
Engage your kids with some of these fun winter science experiments in the cold weather. These indoor activities are perfect to help your kid learn and do something fun at the same time. These winter science experiments will introduce your kids to the world of chemistry, matter, physics and more. Keeping your young child’s curious mind engaged with STEM and STEAM activities will help them in their cognitive growth and development. Don’t let your young child’s mind hibernate.