Winter is here and Christmas is almost upon us! The scent of pine mingled with peppermint is wafting through the air in homes around the country.
The trees are trimmed, the icicle lights adorn the porch, and the gifts are wrapped – well maybe not quite yet. . .
I don’t know about you and your kids, but at our house, we love Christmas morning. We have a big breakfast full of once-a-year treats. We open presents and enjoy time together. Our kiddos really look forward to it and the anticipation is quite distracting!
This year you may find yourself needing a little something to entertain the kiddos in between now and the buzz of Christmas morning. Here are three winter science activities to add a little bit of science to your celebration.
What would winter be without a little snow?
If you are lucky enough to have a pile of the white stuff outdoors, take some time to engineer the best snow fort ever. Or you can examine snowflakes with a magnifying glass or a microscope.
If you don’t have any snow, mix up a batch of your own snow inside. Simple mix equal portions of shaving cream and cornstarch. I know it sounds strange, but it really works. Plus the mixture is slightly cool to the touch, so it feels like you just might be playing with snow!
Indoor snow is a bit messy though, so be sure you do it somewhere you don’t mind a slight snowstorm in your house.
Here are a few more ideas for observing snow:
Have you ever wondering why cookies turn a lovely shade a brown? And why the smell so delicious when they are ready to pull out of the oven?
Before you make your cookies for the holidays, watch this video the learn more about the science behind cookies:
Now that you know the answers to your cookie science questions, you can bake another batch with your children!
And when you are done learning about the chemistry of cookies, make a few science cookies you can't eat:
Evergreens are one of the bright spots in the winter landscape. Their greenish hues pop out of the brown/grey landscape, which makes them a perfect winter nature study subject.
You can work off the gift-opening buzz by taking a walk around your neighborhood looking for evergreens, like pine trees, spruce trees, and holly bushes.
Pause for a moment at one of them and examine their leaves. The leaves of an evergreen tree are covered with a waxy coating that helps to protect them in the winter.
If you want to take it a step further, pick up one of the cones that have fallen to the ground to examine up close when you get home using the following directions:
Add a little science to your winter plans by looking at evergreens, by finding out why cookies brown, or by playing with snow.
Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family!
Want a few Christmas science ideas? Check out the following:
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