- Magnifying glass (hand lens)
- large piece of dark paper (e.g. black or dark blue construction paper)
- something to support the paper (e.g. a cookie sheet, large book, or clipboard)
- Blank white paper and pencils or colored pencils
- cotton dish towel, a bathroom terrycloth towel, a scrap of old fabric, or other material or papers
- small paintbrush (for moving flakes around gently)
- Take the construction paper outside. Let some snowflakes fall on the paper.
- Ideally, take the paper into a cold garage, covered porch, or other place out of the snow (you can even get into a cold car). If you don't have a covered place, lean over the paper to prevent more flakes from falling on it.
- Use the hand lens to examine the flakes. Big fluffy flakes are the easiest to see, but children should still be able to note differences in the flakes. Challenge children to draw the crystal patterns they see.
- You could also try out different materials to catch the snowflakes. Try using a cotton dish towel, a bathroom terrycloth towel or a scrap of old fabric. Which material catches and holds the flakes the best? Which makes observations easier?
For a literature connection, try this book:
For some stunning recent photographs of snowflakes, try this book:
For those of you in the snow band, try it out, won't you? And let us know what you discover!