The kids can explore math and science concepts with this melting snowman that uses real snow. A must-do addition to your winter activities for preschoolers.
You can grab a copy of the recording sheet at the very bottom of this post, too!
Do you live where it snows? I do, although it doesn’t snow too often. And I am a BIG fan of snow. Well, as long as I don’t have to drive very far.
I’ve found that most preschoolers really love getting into the snow, too. It’s almost as if there’s something magical about it.
So why not bring some of that magic into your classroom when you can?
Of course, if you happen to live somewhere that doesn’t get snow, you can still try out this melting snowman experiment. You’ll just need to adapt it a little bit. Instead of snow, make a snowman out of ice. No, the results won’t be the same. But the fun and learning sure will be!
The next time it snows, fill a bucket with some when you’re outside with the kids. Then bring it inside and get started with the snowman STEM activity!
You can even take it a step further! Consider setting up the experiment inside AND outside, if you have the available space. This will add an additional dimension to the learning.
Related: Snow Painting With Water Balloons
Snowman Science Materials
This materials list looks long, but don’t worry! It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if you had most of the items in your classroom already. And the rest of them come from the great outdoors! Here are the items used in this melting snowman activity:
- Real snow!
- Baby carrot
- Small piece of felt in a color of your choosing
- Unifix cubes (or another measurement tool)
- Free printable recording sheet (at the bottom of this post)
Remember, you can definitely adjust the materials based on how you and the kids want to decorate the snowman.
Assembling Your Snowman
First, you and the kids need to gather the snow. Make sure you have the kids grab some small twigs while you’re out there too! Once you have the snow, it’s time to build a snowman.
You can determine the size of the snowman you’d like to build. The great thing about this particular activity is that it doesn’t require a huge amount of snow. Just enough to build a little snowman!
Then add the other snowman bits and bobs! Buttons for the eyes and the, well . . . buttons. Place some twigs on the side for arms. The kids can definitely help with this part!
Grab a vegetable peeler and craft the baby carrot into a little snowman nose. It’s probably best that only adults handle the vegetable peeler. Then place a toothpick into the carrot so the kids have an easier time placing it on the snowman.
Add a piece of felt for the snowman’s scarf. You can use a pair of fancy scissors to give the edges some pizzazz, but it’s not necessary.
Be sure to take an image of your freshly-made creation before jumping into the melting snowman activity. This is what ours looked like:
Related: Cookie Cutter Snowman Art Project
Directions for the Melting Snowman Experiment
Then it’s time to measure and observe! Break out the printable recording sheet if you’d like to use it. Otherwise, you can use blank paper to record your findings.
Have the children help measure the snowman before it starts melting. You can use your preferred measurement tools – from Unifix cubes to a basic wooden ruler, that’s up to you.
They can even draw pictures of what the snowman looks like before it begins to melt. Help them make note of what they see. This will help the children have a starting point for comparison as the snowman melts.
Set a timer for when you’d like to check back in on your snowman. You might want to do so in 10-minute increments, or you might prefer to check in on it sporadically. I do suggest you keep track of the time in some way.
Some of the kids will want to keep an eye on the melting snowman in between these check-in times. That’s perfectly fine! I’d suggest you remind the kids not to touch the snowman since it’s part of a science experiment.
You can have a snow-filled sensory bin elsewhere for those just itching to play with snow! Or you could always teach the kiddos how to make fake snow with flour.
After a set amount of time, take another picture and measure the snowman again. Be sure to record the results and have the kids help with each part of the process.
Keep doing this until your snowman is fully melted. Be sure to take a final picture!
Melted Snowman Follow-Up
Finally, have a chat with your students about the data you recorded. How long did it take for the snowman to fully melt? What did they notice along the way?
You’ll probably get a ton of input from the kids! And, like me, you’ll likely have a blast with their insightful comments and observations. Perhaps they’ll have some suggestions for how to do the experiment differently in the future.
Oh, and don’t forget any snowmen you made outside! If you were running parallel indoor-outdoor experiments, take some time to compare the results from both experiments.
And speaking of melted snowmen, I think your kids will really get a kick out of making a melted snowman in a jar! It’s a great sensory activity for winter that the kids can help you make. Plus, it’s a reminder of this fun science experiment.
Snowman Lesson Plans
If your students loved this melting snowman activity, take a look at Preschool Teacher 101’s snowman lesson plans. They will make your teaching life so much easier because they’re all planned out for you!
Here are a few more done-for-you preschool resources to try this winter:
Don’t forget to join our membership waiting list, too! Members get access to so many incredibly useful, and developmentally appropriate, preschool resources.
Snowman Books for Kids
If you’re a regular Fun-A-Day reader, you know how much I LOVE children’s books! With each of my preschool themes, I like to choose a variety of books to read with the children.
Here are a few books to read before, during, and after your melting snowman science experiment:
The STEM melting snowman activity paired with a book and a snowman snack will make a perfectly well-rounded lesson!
Free Printable Melting Snowman Recording Sheet
Here’s the free printable I mentioned earlier! It’s available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. Just add your information into the form below to have it sent to your email.
If you’re not a member of the email community, no worries! You can add your information to the form below to join. Then you’ll receive the melting snowman record sheet as a welcome gift.
If you can’t see the above form, click here to access it.
If you try this melting snowman science fun, be sure to let me know what the kids think!