December 15, 2016
By: Laura Burton, Youth Program Director
As a child, I always equated the holiday break with snow and hoping for endless hours to play in it! Now as a parent, I look forward to the time off from our usually hectic schedules to “create experiences” and I treasure the opportunities to witness “Aha! Moments”. As the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) instructor at The Connection, I’d like to suggest that you combine the two: use children’s love of snow to create fun learning experiences for your kids over the holiday break!
With real snow, there are lots of opportunities to play and learn, both outside and in! Bring a snowball into your freezer and observe how it changes each day- charting the changes in it’s texture, size and weight. Put food coloring and water in spray bottles and make art outside (or bring the snow in), noting what happens to the colors over time and when colors are overlapped. Build a cave or igloo and appreciate the insulation of the frozen shelter. Or simply see what materials sink into the snow or are able to lay on top of the snow (and see if surface area versus weight plays a role).
If the weather does not cooperate, you can still have fun with “snow” inside. Marshmallows are my first choice as a snowball imposter. They can be stacked into snowmen and launched from homemade catapults like snowballs, and then be enjoyed as a yummy treat! You can create edible winter landscapes with your children and explore other wintry look-a-likes (maybe investing in edible markers to add details). Sugar cubes can be also substituted for ice blocks in building mini igloos or caves (with frosting as the edible glue).
Enjoy your holiday break, making fun memories with your children that might just have a little learning mixed in!
If your children enjoy these types of experiences, they may enjoy the S.T.E.A.M. classes that are offered at The Connection during the school year, as well as during our holiday and summer breaks.