Winter Experiments for Kids

With rain, snow, and wind, weather offers an ever-changing variety. In these winter experiments, you can create your own frozen icicles, measure rain or find out what the wind chill is.

These kids activities are fun and simple to try. And, they offer a great way to learn about the changing seasons.

Frozen Bubbles
Create your own icicles using the simple instructions on this page.

Rain Gauge
Make a gauge to measure the rain. Learn how here.

The Wind-Chill Factor
Just how cold does the wind make the weather? Find out how to tell.

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here!
Learn how to measure the amount of hail that falls during a storm.

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Frozen Bubbles

Try this winter experiment for soapy fun. Using soap bubbles, you'll turn them into frozen bubbles.

How to Make Frozen Bubbles

What You'll Need:

Measuring cup
Soap powder
Sugar
Hot water
Bowl
Spoon or whisk
Bubble wand

This is an activity for a cold, cold (below freezing) day when there is no wind in the air.

Start by making a strong bubble solution. Mix 1/2 cup soap powder, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 cups hot water. (This mixture will help the bubbles last longer.)

Take the bubble solution and a bubble wand outside. Blow a bubble, and catch it on the wand.

Let the bubble sit resting on the wand in the cold air. In the below-freezing chill, the bubble will soon freeze into a fragile crystal ball.

On the next page, you'll find out how to measure rain by making your own rain gauge.

For more fun activities and winter crafts, check out:

Rain Gauge

Measuring, recording and charting daily, weekly or monthly rainfall is a fun winter experiment. In this winter experiment, you'll make your own rain gauge, and learn how to chart your results.

How to Make a Rain Gauge

What You'll Need:

Jar
Ruler
Permanent marker
Chart paper
Pencil

Compare your measurements to those recorded in the newspaper!

Use a cylinder-shaped jar or a square container with straight sides for your gauge. (You can also use several containers of different sizes to test if the results will be the same in different places in your yard.)

Measure and mark inch and half-inch marks on the side of the jar or container, measuring from the bottom up. Place the gauge outside in an open area.

Check the rainfall in each 24-hour period. You can use separate gauges for daily, weekly, and monthly recordings.

Empty the daily gauge after each recording, and set it back outside to measure the next day's rainfall. Chart your results.

Check out the next page to learn how to measure the wind-chill factor.

For more fun activities and winter crafts, check out:

The Wind-Chill Factor

Cold weather feels even colder when it's windy. Professional weather forecasters call this the "wind-chill factor." Find out how it works in this winter experiment.

The Wind-Chill Factor Experiment

wind chill
Wind chill tells you how cold it is outside.

What You'll Need:

Thermometer
Wind-speed gauge

Your body is normally surrounded by a thin layer of warm air, and it protects you. The wind, however, actually blows away that layer of warm air. So, you feel much colder on windy days.

Using a thermometer, measure the temperature. Then calculate the speed of the wind with the wind-speed gauge. Combine the numbers on the chart below to determine the wind-chill factor. Use the wind-chill factor to help you dress for the weather. Bundle up for how cold it feels, not how cold it is!

Find the place on the chart where the wind speed and the temperature meet. That's the wind-chill factor. Example: If the wind speed is 10 mph and the temperature is 25 degrees, the wind-chill factor is 10 degrees.

Wind Speed, mph
Temperature, Fahrenheit
0
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
5
27
22
16
11
6
0
-5
10
16
10
3
-3
-9
-15
-22
15
9
2
-5
-11
-18
-25
-31
20
4
-3
-10
-17
-24
-31
-39
25
1
-7
-15
-22
-29
-36
-44
30
-2
-11
-18
-27
-33
-43
-49

On the next page, find out how to measure hail using a few simple steps.

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Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here

Sometimes the sky rains solids. How powerful is your average hailstorm? Try "Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here" to find out if the hail in your area even makes a dent.

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here!

What You'll Need:

Large plastic bowls
Gravel or sand
Aluminum foil
Plastic wrap
Wax paper
Large rubber bands

The next time you anticipate a hailstorm, half-fill three large, plastic bowls with sand.

Then cover the top of the bowls, one with foil, one with plastic wrap, one with wax paper. Use rubber bands to hold the paper in place.

Set the bowls in the open space, where the hail will strike often.

Once the storm is over, examine the different bowls. What happened to the foil? The plastic wrap? The wax paper? Explore the impact of hail firsthand.

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

For more fun activities and winter crafts, check out: