Don't forget to dress in warm layers of clothing when you play in the snow!

Make a snow fort and fill a plastic spray bottle with warm water and some food coloring. Spray the water on the onto the snow and "paint" your fort with colored ice!


Don't forget to make a few "snow angels".



Snow Activities

Snow Scavenger Hunt

Living in the cold North makes a person become familiar with snow, that's why the Inuit have so many different words for snow. They have had to recognize and communicate about many different kinds of snow and features of their landscape. See how many of the different kinds of snow you can find. Here is a list of Inuit words for snow along with their meaning.

Check off the different kinds of snow you are able to find.

  anniu falling snow
  api  ground snow
  qali snow on the boughs of trees
  qamaniq  bowl like depression under tree
xx siqoqtoaq sun crust
  siqoq  smoky (drifting snow)
  anamana space between drifts and obstruction
  upsik  wind beaten snow
  mapsuk  overhanging drift
  kaioglaq  sharply etched wind eroded surface
  tumarinyiq  ripple type drift
  kalutoganiq  arrow shaped snow drift
  kimoaqtruk  snow drift
  pukak bottom snow layer (depth hoar)
  salumaroaq smooth surface of fine particles
  natatgonaq rough surface of large particles
  quinzhee  snow shelter

Ice Candle

You will need:
  • 5 gallon plastic bucket or pail
  • nonstick cooking spray (optional)
  • water
  • candle
  • Some nice freezing weather
Spray the inside of the bucket with the no-stick spray or rub with a little oil. This helps if you have problems with the ice sticking to the bucket when it's time to remove. Fill the bucket three quarters of the way full and set outside to freeze. Leave overnight (depending on how cold it is!). In the morning remove the ice block from the bucket. On the bottom there should be an area that is still liquid. Drain out the liquid and slush and turn it over. Allow to freeze for at least for four more hours. The pocket where the water was now makes a great place to insert a candle. Light and place outside in your yard when it's dark for a beautiful ice "crystal" candle luminary! 

Be sure to have an adult help you light the candle!

Snow Scene in a Jar

In Alaska we expect our first snowfall somewhere around the first week of October. If you don't get any snow in your area, you can still make your own snow scene.
  • empty small jar ((like a baby food jar)
  • hot glue gun
  • epoxy glue
  • small plastic toy animal (they have them in toy stores everywhere)
  • white rocks, big pieces of gravel, plastic tree etc.
  • glitter (some of the new iridescent ones are beautiful & available at hobby stores)
  • water
  • food coloring if desired
Use hot glue gun to glue rocks and animal to the bottom of jar. (have an adult help with the glue gun!) Fill with water and add food coloring if desired. Spoon in some glitter and use epoxy glue to glue lid onto jar. Be sure to have an adult help with the epoxy glue. 

Shake to make it snow!

And even more fun with snow!

  • Build a snow cave or pit.

  • Snow Caves For Fun and Survival by Ernest Wilkinson is a great resource.
  • Make snow angels in the snow.
  • Look for animal tracks in the snow.

  • See if you can find the tracks of dogs, cats, birds, and other wildlife in the snow. Check out a book from your local library on animals and animal tracks and see how many different animal tracks you can identify. 
  • Try out some snow shoes.

  • Rent, borrow, or buy some snow shoes and see if you can master walking on deep snow. You can even try making your own out of a curved branch and heavy twine. The trick to snow shoes is to be sure and lift your toes up when you try and walk!

How cold is it?

The Wind Chill  Index is an air temperature index that measures the heat loss from exposed human skin surfaces. Skin and flesh quickly looses heat when it's cold and the wind blows. Since both low temperatures and wind remove heat from the body, the risk of frostbite is great when there is a high wind chill factor.  Be sure and bundle up and cover exposed skin!
Wind Speed (MPH) =
Air Temperature (ºF) =

º F

When it's verrrry cold outside...

  • Blow bubbles outside,

  • They won't pop when it's -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero outside.
  • Brew some birch tree tea.

  • The birch tree grows in much of Alaska and you can make a warm winter time tea by collecting a few small birch tree twigs and gently steeping them in boiling water.
    (Caution: the birch tree contains the natural form of Aspirin called salicylic acid, and prolonged boiling in a closed container could concentrate the salicylic acid to a level where those with a hypersensitivity to Aspirin may have a problem with it.)
  • Write a poem about the snow and cold.

  • What does the cold feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Write your observations down in the form of a poem.
  • Make peanut butter cookie cutter treats for the birds.

  • Take old bread slices and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Let them dry and harden enough to spread with peanut butter. Cover the peanut buttered shapes with black sunflower seeds and hang outdoors on trees or anywhere birds might come! Use a bird book to identify the birds. The Guide to the Birds of Alaska, by Robert H. Armstrong is a good book for Alaska.
  • See what happens to something plastic in the cold.

  • Take an old plastic soda pop bottle and leave it outside for at least an hour. Then squeeze and see what happens. Why do you think it might have done something different than if it was warm?
    Cozy up inside and read a book!
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