I am not going to lie. I am not a fan of the snow once you get past how pretty a fresh snow looks out under the street lights or in the rising sun. It’s cold and makes everything hurt. But I also can not ignore the fact that time outside is good for you so we look for ways to get outside a bit in the winter. Your kids will be more likely to enjoy going outside on a cold day if you make going out in the snow fun. These fun ideas for homeschooling in the snow will help make the most of your snowy days outside for all of their learning potential.
Get an up close look at snowflakes
What do those glistening flakes of ice really look like? As children, we all learned that every snowflake is unique, but nothing beats seeing it for yourself. Since snowflakes tend to get packed and are so small, observing them can be challenging.
To do this you will want some black paper or fabric that you can hold out in the snow to catch snowflakes. By placing your black material in the freezer before you begin. This will keep your snowflakes from melting the moment they land on your warm material.
You can even use a portable microscope to observe snowflakes outside if you have magnifying glasses. For a closer look at snowflakes indoors where you can acclimate, you can have your kids use a camera with a macro lens to take an up-close picture of the snowflakes you catch. We love using my Olympus Tough Camera for this because it can get great macro shots and can handle the cold.
Test the laws of motion
While you can test the laws of physics by doing experiments inside, taking the lesson outside in the snow will be a lot more fun. I remember going sledding with my dad and sister growing up. This is a great opportunity for learning. Grab everyone, bundle up and find a hill to test the basic laws of motion. Using a sled and a slick hill, what better way to see how hard it can be to stop something without friction? This is one of those lessons that are truly unforgettable as it allows you and your children to make new memories together.
Learn about structures
The best way to learn about buildings and structures and how they work is to get hands-on. The snow makes the perfect building material for this. It can be a lot of fun to build with snow blocks. They can be easily made by buying molds for making bricks. These molds can be used for both snow and sand giving you options to use them again in lesson plans out on the beach. Once you have finished making your bricks, you can start building with them.
Building a snow fort is a great way to learn about the Inuit people and how they would live in igloos and homes made of ice and snow that would protect them from the wind and cold.
Ice blocks are great for learning about how structures are built to be strong and stable. you can use these snow blocks to build different structures then see which ones can hold weight. to make your structures stronger take a spray bottle of water and lightly spray before allowing the snow blocks to refreeze overnight.
Add to your nature journals
In the winter animals leave tracks in the snow. Set out bird feeders, squirrel, or animal feeders. This is a great opportunity to observe animals, get an up-close look at footprints and help the animals by providing them with food. Make notes of animal footprints in your nature journals while you observe animals outside. During the winter, you have the opportunity to add new information to your nature journals.
Try making frozen bubbles
When it gets cold enough, you may be able to learn just how fast extreme cold temperatures can freeze things right in front of your own eyes. You can also explore the structure of bubbles by making frozen bubbles that tend to pop long before they can be observed. If you want to make this experiment even more interesting, you can mix up your own bubble solution and see what ratio gives you the best bubbles and which ones will fall flat in the cold. This is best for those super cold days and polar vortex weather situations we get here in the winter.
Set up a weather station
We love using a weather station throughout the year to observe the weather. We can learn new things about the volume of snow falling and how much liquid is created when it is captured and melted down in the winter. If you left your weather station from the summer outside you can explore new types of weather now it is cold and snowy.