Snow and Ice Activities for Kids Part II

This is part 2 to my first post about snow and ice activities from yesterday.

 

On one of the days we made these borax crystal snowflakes.

We actually first made these, two Christmases ago. They looked so pretty then, but when I pulled them out this last Christmas they had turned a little chalky and white and not pretty anymore. So…these are great to enjoy right after but not to keep for later.

Here’s the how to:

Borax Snowflake Crystals

The instructions below make one snowflake crystal.

Materials

Boiling hot water - enough to fill one pint sized mason jar
1/3 cup borax - you can find this in the laundry aisle. I also like to use Borax to help remove stains and odors in our laundry. It works great on pee laundry…for any of you toilet training your kids right now. ;)

pint mason jar
pencil
pipe cleaners
string/yarn

Directions

1. Form your pipe cleaners into a snowflake shape or whatever shape you desire, while you boil water.
2. Add water to your mason jar.
3. Mix in borax. Stir it but don’t worry if it isn’t completely dissolved.
4. Attach your pipe cleaner shape to the string and hang it from the pen/pencil while submerging it in your jar.

Like this.

Leave it overnight. The next morning you should have a nice pretty crystal snowflake.

The jar will have crystal formations at the bottom and on the sides. Don’t worry. Just stab it with a fork a few times and it will break right off in chunks.

FYI: Please be mindful that some children may see this as candy. Borax can be toxic if ingested. Read the labeling on the borax package and make sure your children don’t mistake this for food.

On another day we made the classic paper snowflakes.

I admit a lot of them were mine. It was sooo fun and fast I had to force myself to stop at 8. My two year old just had scissors practice on our scraps while we worked on the snowflakes…and my five year old son made the one just above the bottom left. He was so proud.

Then we hung them in our dining room. I think they look quite pretty there.

I now know that these snowflakes aren’t anatomically correct. We learned from one of our snow books, after we made these, that all snowflakes are six sided. Whoops. Eight-sided looks close enough.

Toward the end of the week we took our snowflakes out to decorate our fence …

 for our hot chocolate party.

The day before we played in the snow and filled up some buckets and boxes from our house to make these ice chairs and little table. We did it in the late afternoon when the sun was out so the snow would melt a little and help the snow compact better when it froze over night. {This is another idea from Parents magazine}.

The next afternoon we unmolded our snow “furniture,” made some hot chocolate with snowmen shaped marshmallows and had a little party. My boys loved this. Especially my two year old. When he was done with his hot chocolate he started snacking on our snow table. Ha ha. :)

Then we played in the snow again. The sun came out toward the end of the week and things warmed up a bit so the weather was lovely.

I really wanted to build a snowman but our snow was too powdery. It’s what Utah’s famous for I guess. So…skiers delight and snowman makers lament.

Owen was a little to heavy for his chair, so it ended up looking like this toward the end. A broken chair and then add the nibbled at table…I eventually gave Owen the okay to do some demolition work on it.

We topped off the week with the snowman pizza I posted about last week.

I hope these posts have inspired you to get out and enjoy the cold weather! I am hoping for more snow so we can:

catch snowflakes and compare them under a magnifying glass
build a snowman
go sledding again – we haven’t gone since Thanksgiving
make a snow cave

If you have any other great snowy/icy activities I would love to hear about them.

Have a great day!

Comments

  1. says

    Lovely, fun post, beautiful children, awesome parenting, cool snow furniture, blessed family. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of when mine where little….Merry Christmas <3

  2. says

    Really pretty Borax snowflakes, but you might want to warn people to hang them out of reach of kids and pets (Borax is toxic to eat). It looks a lot like rock candy.
    Speaking of which – this might work for sugar just as well, and then it would be safe if someone accidentally ate it.

  3. says

    Came across your blog via pinterest. This is absolutely precious. I grew up in Minnesota and this brought me back to being a little kid and playing in the snow. Your boys will remember days like this forever. They're so fortunate to have such a thoughtful and fun mom :)

  4. Anonymous says

    Try spraying your snow furniture with a water bottle…will ice over and make it last longer. You could spray it in layers as you make them in the mold…then it will be an ice block when it comes out.

  5. Anonymous says

    Great ideas! to enjoy snow in summer, make snow balls and put in large ziploc bags in freezer. Fun to pull out and play with in warm weather.

  6. Anonymous says

    Hi, I got here from Pinterest. love your ideas. REALLY love the close up picture of you son! Could you tell me what kind of camera you use to get an amazing shot like that??!!

  7. Anonymous says

    My Mom used to make us snow ice cream to have with our hot chocolate. I'm not sure the recipe but I'm sure you can find one online I know she used snow, vanilla, egg and not sure what else but it was so good.

  8. says

    Hi! I found your blog on pinterest and was inspired to make the borax snowflakes, however mine did not turn out. Are you supposed to divide out the 1/3 cup into the six jars or are you supposed to use 1/3 cup borax PER pint jar? Thanks for your help. I can't wait to try them…. again. :O)

  9. says

    To get even better crystals, put the jar in a foam cooler. It jets the water cool slower. Also, using colored pipe cleaners is fun! I first did thus when I was in middle school for extra credit. I made a red heart that came out great!

  10. says

    Hi Delia
    I thought I commented here the other day, but maybe I hit a wrong button. I run a blog (I don't think I have any followers yet, but I'm working on it) for my dad's small construction company. He works for the disabled and elderly. I have a regular post called "For the grandkids and / or kid in you". I'd love to share your Borax snowflakes, giving you full

  11. says

    We tried the Borax snowflakes yesterday, left them overnight, and nothing happened. I'm not sure what I could have possibly done wrong!

  12. says

    Ok, two things I like about this post…first the chemistry/art project of the borax and pipe cleaners, and then the outdoor hot chocolate party! Love it! Making the tables and chairs is so cool! I've also seen people fill balloons with water and let them freeze, that might add to the ambiance!

    I'm hosting a STEM themed linky, and would love for you to link up to this post! My

  13. says

    I've just found you on pinterest. How cool! I love these and wondered at first if they were possibly rock candy. I live in Sweden and am yet to figure out what I can substitute for Borax but I love this and will send the link to my sister, who's in the US! I'm glad I found you!

  14. says

    I have been making borax Christmas ornaments for years in my classroom.. So excited to see it here! Use colored pipe cleaners to get color. You can mix red and white to make awesome candy canes. There is no limit to the color and ideas. Also, if you begin with a metal Christmas tree hook instead of string, it will be ready to hang. I use a large styrofoam cup and just toss at the end. Much easier

    • Janet says

      We used to make rock candy like this but I can’t remember the recipe. Have you done this in your classroom? I believe we learned how to do it when my oldest son was in kindergarten, now I have my first grandson and would like to do it with him when he’s a little older.

  15. says

    Just wondering…will a drop of food colouring change the colour of the crystals? These will look amazing if i could make them in a rainbow of colours for decor for my lil one's bday party….it's fairy party so anything magical will work

  16. says

    These are awesome!
    I wonder if a lil food colouring in the water will also change the colour of the crystals?

    We doing a fairy themed party for my lil one in December (summer in South Africa) so having these crystals in an array of colour will be really magical..must give it a try

  17. Kim says

    Just did these, except I connected them to Christmas tree hooks instead of string and a pencil. They are gorgeous. They sparkle so much more than in the pics. Though they were a little tricky to get out of the Mason jars.

  18. Tiffany Cavegn says

    Have you ever done this with colored pipe cleaners? I only have black on hand, so we are going to try that tonight!

    Cheers,
    Tiffany

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