By now, pretty much everyone knows about Instant Snow. Today I’m sharing a printable recording sheet you can use along with the experiment, plus the details of how I do this experiment with my class.
The recording sheet can be filled out either for each child or you can fill it out for the group together and write all of the children’s names at the top (which is what I do). To send it home, just make copies of the filled in group sheet. I do this activity as a small group science activity. My small groups have about 5-6 children.
1. First of all, I do not tell the children what we are going to make. I only tell them we are going to do a science experiment. If the jar of instant snow has pictures on the label, I hide the label. Even my south Georgia students who have no experience with snow come to the conclusion that they made “snow” when they see the end result. Of course, I explain that it isn’t real snow.
2. I give each child a piece of dark blue paper and a cup. I have the children pinch a very small amount of the “powder” (the Insta-Snow) and sprinkle it onto their blue paper (this is so they can observe it). We look at the powder, touch it, and talk about it. What does it look like? How does it feel? Their answers are written on the recording sheet.
3. Each child has a turn to measure out a scoop of “powder” (the Insta-Snow) and pour it into their cup. The measuring scoop is included when you purchase the instant snow. To measure the correct amount of water, I have a large pitcher of water and a small pitcher with measuring lines. I pour the water into the smaller pitcher to the 2 ounce line, and the children pour the water into the cup of powder. Before we do this, we make predictions: What do you think will happen if we pour the water into the powder?
4. The children have a few moments to touch it, look at it, and explore it. We talk about what happened, how it looks, how it feels, and their answers are recorded on the sheet. The instant snow actually has a cool feeling when the water is added.
5. I explain the science behind the snow something like this: Instant Snow is a super absorbent polymer. That means it’s a super soaker– it soaks up lots of water and expands or grows larger. Be sure to use body language to demonstrate words like “expand”.
Insta-Snow can be purchased through the Steve Spangler Science site, and I have also seen it for sale at Hobby Lobby and Cracker Barrell.