If you’re in a part of the country that sees freezing temperatures, your kids may get cabin fever from being inside. Don’t let the colder weather stop you from making discoveries (or helping your kids learn). Here are some great winter-themed ideas for education and fun at the same time!
If it’s below freezing outside, see how long it takes water of different temperatures to freeze. You can also try water in the same temperature, but containers of different sizes and shapes (flat, tall, in-between) or colors (clear, white, red).
Bubbles will also freeze outside. Pull out the bubble wands and try it! Your kids will be able to see the ice crystals as they freeze. Use it to talk about the way that ice forms.
Have you ever really looked at snow and ice? Take an outdoor walk with your kids and see how many different types of snow and ice you can find. Look for ice that has melted and refrozen, snow that is turning to slush, packed snow, fluffy snow, and so on. When you take the time to really look closely at every day objects, you’ll be amazed what you can discover, even as adults.
If it’s just too cold to get outside, or you live in an area without snow and ice, make your own. Try dissolving equal parts Epsom salt and water (add food coloring to make it pretty) and cool in the fridge for a few hours. You can also dissolve 3 parts sugar to 1 part boiling water (add sugar slowly so that it dissolves) then put in a jar with a string suspended from the lid to watch the sugar crystals form on the string. Mixing baking soda with shaving cream will also make a clay with a snow-like consistency. For some extra fun, drop in a bowl of vinegar to watch it explode!
While you’re doing these things, don’t worry about making them intentionally educational. Just interacting with your children as they discover new things will help them develop new vocabulary and critical thinking skills, plus enhance their natural curiosity!