Have Fun Outside with These 10 Winter Science Activities for Kids
It's cold. Snow is on the ground. The couch calls to you to cuddle up with a book or show, a cup of tea, and a warm blanket.
But there's school to do. And you might as well take advantage of the weather & switch up your science for some wintery learning.
When the cold hits, it's tempting to hibernate inside. But it's a great time to do some winter science activities!
Winter Activities for the Younger Kiddos
- Take a scavenger hunt We created two versions -- one to take outside and one for your kids to do inside.
- Blow Crystal Bubbles -- Head outside with your kiddos & bubble solution. As the kiddos (and you!) blow bubbles, they'll crystalize. (Why?)
- Water and Snow--Give each student three cups and bring them outside to collect some snow in each cup. Then, come back inside and get three containers worth of cold, room temperature, and hot water. Pour some hot water over the snow in one container, some room temperature water over the snow in the second container, and some cold water over the snow in the third container. Have your students compare what has happened in each container and take notes.
- Pinecone Birdfeeder -- Learn more about the species that stick around during the winter months by making a pinecone birdfeeder. Start by tying a string around the pinecone. Then mix peanut butter with cornmeal, and oats. Use a spoon, or your fingers, to spread the mixture onto the pinecones. Finally, pour some birdseed onto a plate and roll the peanut butter covered pinecones in the seed until they are completely covered. Hang the pinecone birdfeeders in a tree and watch the birds (and squirrels!) as they visit.
- Sounds Around -- Discover the winter sounds by mimicking fox ears! Prepare your students by giving each of them a paper plate cut in half. On one plate, have them write “Nature”, and on the other plate, have them write “Humans and Machines.” On the “Nature” plate, students will draw sounds made by things in nature, such as the crunching of snow, the whirl of the wind, or the scampering of tiny animals. On the “Humans and Machines” plate, students will draw sounds like a snow blower, humans talking, or a car engine.
- Create a Nature Collage Book -- Even without colorful springtime flowers, the winter environment is still a great place to build a nature collage. Go on a winter walk in the woods with your students and tell them to collect any twigs, leaves, and rocks that they want to add to their collage. Bring along some colored pencils and have them draw a tree or any winter animals that they find. Have them write down observations of the objects next to their pictures. How do they smell? How big are they? What do they feel like?
Winter Science with Older Kiddos
Invent a December Holiday After sharing and learning about the holiday traditions your students enjoy during winter, invite them to research how holidays are celebrated around the world. Then, have the class create its own special holiday by brainstorming their favorite symbols, dress, colors, foods, and traditions.
Snow Volcano Take the classic baking soda volcano experiment and add snow! Kids learn about acids and bases with this popular winter science project.
Experimenting the best way to melt ice Conventional wisdom says we sprinkle salt on ice to melt it faster. But why? Is that really the best method? Try this winter science experiment and find out.
Tracking Wildlife Be animal detectives for a day and go outside hunting for wildlife tracks. Solving the mystery of “Who made those tracks?” can be incredibly fun and allow students to practice their observation skills. An animal field guide will be a great tool to bring along.