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Snow day fun – crafts, recipes and experiments


Snow is in the forecast for this weekend. It’s a tame prediction–just a few inches–but still enough to have some fun. Here are some fun activities that don’t require a sled (or a hill, for that matter).

Snow ice cream

If you have fresh, clean snow, then you can very quickly have fresh, yummy snow ice cream! You can plan ahead and put a large Tupperware container outside the night before and collect freshly fallen snow. If you didn’t think of that, just grab a container and fill it with a bunch of snow.

Ingredients:
½ gallon of fresh, clean snow
½ cup of sugar
1 cup of milk (any type)
½ teaspoon of vanilla

Instructions:
Stir all of the ingredients in a large bowl until mixed. Eat immediately — before it melts!


Maple snow candy

Adult supervision is required for this as it involves boiling maple syrup on the stove top. But this old-fashioned treat is fun to make.

Materials:
Snow
Cookie tin
½ cup pure maple syrup

Instructions:
Gather a bunch of snow and pack it a few inches high onto a large cookie tin. You can do this outdoors and leave the tray outside or bring it into the kitchen — wherever you would prefer to make the candy.

Put the maple syrup in a heavy saucepan and heat on medium-high, stirring frequently. Boil until a candy thermometer registers 235 degrees F. Don’t have a candy thermometer? Just boil it for four to five minutes.

Take the pan of super-hot maple syrup to your cookie trap of packed snow. Drizzle the syrup all over the snow’s surface. The syrup will cool quickly and then become hard. Pick up the pieces when cooled and eat carefully — this type of candy can pull out a filling!

 

Saving a snowflake

This project, which we found at PopularScience.com, is a bit involved, but we think any child — or gown-up, for that matter — interested in science or snowflakes would love making this winter keepsake. If you have a budding chemist in the family, you may already have all the supplies you need.

Materials:
Superglue (original runny style, not the gel form)
Glass microscope slides and coverslips
Tweezers

Instructions:
Put the microscope slides and coverslips, the tweezers and the superglue outside to chill; it should be no warmer outdoors than 20 degrees F.

Pick up a snowflake with the chilled tweezers and place it on the microscope slide; alternatively, you can let snowflakes fall onto the microscope slide. Place a drop of the chilled superglue on the snowflakes. Gently place the cover sleeve on top; do not push into place or slide it as this could the snowflake to melt. Let the slides outdoors for an hour or more.

Pick up the slides carefully (so as not to warm with your fingers) and place them in the freezer for two weeks. You need to allow this much time in below-freezing temperatures to allow the superglue to dry completely without the snowflakes warming and melting. After two weeks, you’ll have preserved snowflakes!
Snow Picassos

A fresh snowfall provides the perfect blank white canvas for some fun artwork. And you probably have all you need in your cupboards and pantries already.

Find some empty squeeze bottles (go ahead and clean out the nearly empty plastic mustard and ketchup containers if you don’t have spare empties around). Fill each up with water and a few drops of food coloring. Have your kids wear some waterproof or at the very least water-resistant mittens or gloves and let the “painting” on snow commence!


Snow paint

This is a fun, indoor craft project for the kiddos. And no, this paint is not really made of snow, but it will resemble it.

Materials:
½ cup white glue, like Elmer’s
½ cup shaving cream
Silver glitter
Paint brushes
Color construction paper
A few drops of vanilla or peppermint extract, if desired

Instructions:
Combine glue and shaving cream in a bowl until it has the consistency of whipped cream.
Add glitter and, if desired, extract, and stir.
Paint pictures on construction paper. Air dry.


Building a quick igloo
(not with this forecast, though!)

Sure, there are ways to build a proper igloo that involve angles, math, cutting tools and more. But the kiddos may be back in school tomorrow, so they’ll want to spend less time configuring and building, and more time enjoying their igloo. Here is our cheat sheet.

You’ll need a steep, heavy snow to make an igloo — the same type of snow that’s ideal for creating snowmen. Stomp around in a small circle (don’t make it wider than 5-7 feet) to pack the snow. Then place your snow blocks (at least 8 inches thick, for support) around the edges of the circle, leaving a small opening for the entrance.

Continue stacking the snow blocks, in row at a time, in the semicircle until the entrance is tall enough to enter. Before continuing, place a board across the top of the entryway for support. Then resume stacking rows of snow blocks, but now completing the circle. When it’s tall enough, place an inverted saucer sled on the top. Cover lightly with snow.

 

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