4 great winter science experiments for awesome family fun (with videos)

4 great winter science experiments for awesome family fun (with videos)

Scripture tells us that all of creation declares the glory of God, but many of us scratch our head and wonder, “Does that mean, winter, too?”

Of course it does. God was wise to give us variety in creation because it helps in our worship of Him.

For instance, we all enjoy scenic pictures of mountains and beaches, but what if the entire world was one big beach or one huge mountain range? As much as we think we’d enjoy it, we really wouldn’t. We’d soon grow bored and our sinful nature would lead us to say, “Is this all there really is in the world – one monotonous stretch of white sand?”

Consider the 24-hour day cycle. What if that wondrous starry night never ended or that beautiful sunny day went on and on? We’d rebel and start pouting, “God, I can’t sleep with all that sunshine!”

It would be the same with a week’s worth of steak suppers or lobster meals, and it’s the same with the seasons. Variety in creation is good for us. We see God’s glory on display in different ways, and about the time we grow tired of beautiful buttercups or red maple tree leaves or a stellar snowy landscape, God changes the scene and gives us a different reminder of His greatness. Winter makes us long for spring, and summer makes us long for fall, and on and on.

As I type this we’re winding down a winter that saw more than 50 total inches of snow where I live, and dozens of days below zero (including one with a wind chill of -45).

Winter is fun, and it’s really not that hard to enjoy. My family and I sled a lot this winter, yes, but we also looked for unique ways to enjoy God’s unique season. My wife is a teacher and I’m kind of a science geek, so we looked for science experiments that we all would remember. Here are four:

1. Throwing boiling water up in the air and watching it turn into a frozen vapor cloud. This experiment can be done with the temperature hovering around 0 degrees but it works even better when it’s colder. Younger children can learn about the three states of water. Older children can learn the science behind it. Here’s what that looked like at our house:

2. Freezing random objects. My 6-year-old son got quite excited when he learned we were going to soak one of daddy’s socks in water and place it out in the snow. Sadly, we lost it – we’ll find it in the spring — and we had to get another sock. But it was fun. Children can learn about the freezing point of water – and have a blast watching regular everyday objects turn hard as a rock. You’ve got to “hear” what the sock sounded like:

3. Measure the snow, over and over. This is a simple one but can be fun in locations that get several feet of the white stuff. It’s a great way to teach kids inches and feet, and families can keep a chart in the house where they’ll see the total amount. (They’ll also learn that the total on their chart isn’t the same as the total amount in the yard.) Here’s my youngest son and I doing that:

4. Throw big rocks into a frozen pond or river. When we moved to a new state and someone told us the Mississippi River froze during winter, I had trouble believing it. So my oldest son and I walked to the river and tossed large rocks onto the ice, trying as much as we could to break it. We couldn’t. There’s probably some science in this, but it was just plain fun. Here’s what that looked like, weeks before the river froze completely across:

Michael Foust is an editor and writer who blogs about parenting and fatherhood. He loves his family and also really likes popcorn. Interested in re-posting this in your publication or on your blog for free? Send me a message in the comments section below (the message won’t go public).

You also may enjoy:

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6 reasons to break that iPhone addition — and play more with your kids

Go play outside: 9 keys to raising nature-loving kids

Turn it off: 6 reasons not to let children watch television

Before they can talk: 7 ways to teach toddlers about God

5 reasons why fathers should change diapers

The 3 best children’s Bibles for young kids

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