When it snows, the kids want to go outside and play. This is wonderful for a few minutes, but inevitably everyone gets cold fingers and toes and we end up right back inside. By making snow paint we have found a way to bring the fun and excitement of snow inside to our warm and comfortable home. This is a magical winter science experiment where kids learn about color mixing, create beautiful art, and discover the physical properties of snow.
When I was a kid I lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. One of my favorite winter activities was snow painting. We filled up spray bottles with colored water that we used to color the huge mounds of crusty snow lining our walkway. When we were ambitious our entire front yard looked like a bright and colorful bowl of our favorite sugar cereal. Sometimes my brother and I did this barefooted because we lived on the edge like that.
This past week we got about an inch of snow in the Pacific Northwest, which is enough to shut down the city for three straight days. With a brand new baby at home I wanted to stay warm inside, but the big kids wanted to play outside in the rare dusting of snow. Luckily we were able to come up with a fantastic activity that made everyone happy!
Rather than going outside to paint the snow, we brought the snow inside and made snow paint. The kids thought it was so fun to create art with snow! It turned out to be just as fun as creating art with ice.
Making Snow Paint
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Making snow paint is super easy. We simply gathered the following supplies:
- Ice cube trays
- Liquid watercolors
- Paint brushes
Once we had our supplies gathered we followed these directions to make snow paint:
- Fill the ice cube trays with snow. Pack it down so that you have enough snow paint when the snow melts!
- Drip a few drops of liquid watercolors into each compartment of the ice cube tray. You can add more than one color so that they mix, or just keep the colors separate. At the end you will end up with 12 separate compartments of color. You can use pipettes or eye droppers to color the snow, or just drip it from the bottle if your child is careful.
- Watch as the snow melts and turns from white to colored. What happens as the different colors mix? What new colors are produced? How long does it take for the snow to melt?
- Once the snow is melted grab your paint brushes and create beautiful art with your new snow paint!
My kids experimented with color mixing and observed how their colors blended together as the snow melted. They learned that snow turns to water when it melts and that the volume of melted snow is much less than that of solid snow. It’s amazing how much kids can learn from one very simple art activity!