Did you know?
Snowflakes are formed from individual snow crystals.
Snow crystals are not frozen raindrops. Frozen raindrops are what we call “sleet”.
Snow crystals are formed when water vapor in the air freezes into ice without first converting to liquid water.
Snow crystals start out as simple hexagon shaped prisms. The six corners branch out as the crystal grows larger, falling from the sky, through the clouds – which is what gives the snow crystal its familiar six point shape. Temperature and humidity affects the shape of the snow crystal, and gives each snowflake its unique symmetrical form. Because snow crystals don’t follow the same path down to earth, no two are exactly alike!
If you don’t get snow where you live, you’re not alone. It is estimated that almost half of the world’s population may have never seen snow in person! Whether you have snow outdoors or not, here’s a creative project for you to do in the winter…
White pipe cleaners (1 per snowflake)
Scissors to cut pipe cleaners
10” piece of Ribbon or string (1 per snowflake)
Craft Sticks (1 per snowflake)
Wide mouth pint jar (1 per snowflake)
Borax powder (NOT Boraxo Soap. it is located in most laundry soap aisles)
Liquid Measuring Cup
Optional- Blue food coloring
Adult supervision is required for this project due to the handling of Borax which isn’t intended for eating, and due to handling of boiling water.
- Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections.
- Twist the sections together to form a six-sided snowflake shape. Don’t worry if the sides aren’t entirely even, you can trim them to get your desired shape. (Take care to make sure that the snowflake fits inside the mouth of the jar easily.)
- Tie the string around one of the snowflake “arms” Tie the other end to the craft stick. The string should be long enough to suspend the snowflake in the jar without touching the bottom or the sides of the jar.
- Carefully fill the wide mouth with boiling water, if you desire, you may add a few drops of the blue food coloring at this point.
- Add the Borax one Tablespoon at a time to the boiling water. Stirring (carefully) to dissolve after each addition. The recommended amount is 3 Tablespoons per 1 cup of boiling water. It is fine if some of the borax powder settles at the bottom of the jar.
- Place the pipe cleaner- snowflake into the jar so that the craft stick rests on top of the jar and the snowflake is completely covered by the liquid and does not touch the bottom or sides of the jar.
- Allow the jar to sit overnight where it will not be disturbed.
- When you take your beautiful crystal out of the water, you can hang it in a window or somewhere so it can catch the sunlight!
While you are waiting for your “snow” crystals to form, here are some snow-themed books:
The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht
The Snowflake: Winter’s Frozen Artistry by Kenneth Libbrecht
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Winter is for Snow by Robert Neubecker
The Berenstain Bears Winter Wonderland by Jan & Mike Berenstain