Monday, January 7, 2013

Snow Science

Playing in the snow is lots of fun but it’s tricky for little people to build with puffy snow gloves and numb fingers. Our solution for cool creative fun - bring snow indoors! 
By adding paint, a few fun kitchen gadgets and our imaginations we were able to come up with three fun snow activities.

Snow paint

First we explored painting on snow with the following materials: Watered down tempra paint, Paint brushes, Trays of snow.
The kids built “tunnels for bad guys” with their paintbrushes, they tried covering all the snow in paint and they observed color changes as they dropped different colors of paint on painted snow. They also watched the colors change from brilliant yellow to muddy green as they dropped heaping scoops of blue snow in paint cups.

Working with the snow, paint and water provided the perfect platform for illustrating the vocabulary words “dissolve”, “melt”, “disappear” and “transform”.

Sensory Bin
Some children enjoyed cooking and building in the sensory bin. They used dishes to mold the snow into various kinds of food and houses. As we worked we talked about the process of snow melting when the sun comes out . 

Some of the children wanted to take their snow creations home, I asked if they thought the snow creations would last until their moms came. During the course of our conversation I found it interesting the children knew that the snow would melt outside but did not think they would melt inside. Maybe because they knew the sun was responsible for melting the snow? I didn’t correct them but suggested that we put the painted snow in a clear container for easier transport. 

Melting Snow
As they went about the business of playing and cleaning up, they started to notice the snow was becoming liquid. One by one they came to the table to look at the jars. They had fun shaking the jars and turning them upside down to see the colored liquid move back and forth. We again talked about how the snow is turning into colored water even though it was not outside. We talked about how cold the jars were. During their observations it became obvious that the jars the children shook became more liquid. Josh asked the children what would happen if we added a blowdryer to the snow, they didn’t have any ideas so we tested it. 

The children squealed with delight as they took turns warming the jars up with the blowdryer. While they waited they continued to shake the jars and tip them back and forth. When they were all finished taking turns, Josh took a hunk of snow out of the jar and completely dissolved it so that the tray was full of water.

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