Winter Extravaganza

Snow GlobeThe first snow­fall is like being trans­port­ed inside a snow globe. The land­scape trans­forms with a fresh sprin­kle of snow on every­thing from the trees to hous­es. “Crunch, crunch” can be heard from the boots of fam­i­lies mak­ing their way out­side to expe­ri­ence the first snow of the sea­son. Snow is an expe­ri­ence where fam­i­lies can engage with each oth­er through activ­i­ties such as sled­ding, mak­ing snow angels, mak­ing snow­men, or mak­ing snow ice cream. As snow falls, a win­ter extrav­a­gan­za occurs filled with fan­tas­tic crafts, sci­ence exper­i­ments, and sto­ries every­one will enjoy. Here’s a selec­tion of my favorite win­try crafts and a sci­ence exper­i­ment. Librar­i­ans will find these use­ful for sto­ry­time. Fam­i­lies will find tips for involv­ing all ages with each craft project and sci­ence exper­i­ment. Oh, and remem­ber that, just like snow, all our cre­ations can be different.

Craft 1: Craft Stick Reindeer


  • craft stick reindeer
    craft stick rein­deer, pho­to copy­right 2018, Zach Stier

    Three ice pop or craft sticks, $7.99 for a box of 200, online
  • Two wig­gly eyes, any size, $6.25 for a bag of 200, online
  • Two pipe clean­ers (any col­or, brown will work), $8.59 for a bag of 200, online
  • One red (or any col­or) pom-pom for the nose, $6.99 for a bag of 100, online
  • Mark­ers, $6.74, online

Total $36.56. Price is based on buy­ing bulk items. You might have many of these sup­plies in your library sup­ply clos­et or at home.


  1. Help your child glue all three craft sticks togeth­er to cre­ate a tri­an­gle. This is the head of the reindeer.
  2. Have your child col­or the craft sticks. Rein­deers are tra­di­tion­al­ly brown but since crafts are a child’s cre­ation they can be what­ev­er col­or they choose.
  3. Turn the head so the point of the tri­an­gle faces down. Help your child glue down the pom-pom on the point.
  4. Help your child twist the pipe clean­ers and tape them on the back of the craft sticks to make two antlers.


  1. The Itsy Bitsy ReindeerPair this craft with Gene Autry’s song, Rudolph the Red­nosed Rein­deer or the book, The Itsy, Bit­sy Rein­deer by Jef­frey Burton.
  2. Play the game, I‑Spy with My Lit­tle Eye, and help them search for tri­an­gu­lar objects.
  3. Find a book or a pic­ture about rein­deer and read it together.
  4. Locate a pic­ture of a rein­deer hoof. If it is snow­ing out­side, see if you and your child can make a print of the hoof in the snow by using sticks or cook­ie cutters.

Craft 2: Bub­ble Print Snowflakes


  1. White card­stock, $12.89 for 50 sheets, online. A plain sheet of white paper will work.
  2. Bub­ble solu­tion, $4.96 or home­made bub­ble solu­tion (see instruc­tions below)
  3. Scis­sors
  4. 2 – 4 straws
  5. 2 – 4 paper cups
  6. Food col­or­ing, $3.76 online
  7. News­pa­per, or any­thing to cov­er the table

Total $21.61 You might already have many of these prod­ucts at home.

bub­ble snowflakes, pho­to copy­right 2018, Zach Steir


  1. Use one piece of white card­stock or a plain sheet of white paper and help your child cut out a snowflake, large or small. Cut out as many as you would like. This is a great web­site with instruc­tions for mak­ing paper snowflakes.
  2. Set out 2 – 4 cups and add bub­ble solu­tion and a few drops of food col­or­ing to each one. Mix­ing col­ors is just fine. Take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk about col­ors. Once fin­ished, put a straw in each cup.
  3. Choose a col­or to start and work with your child to make bub­bles from the bub­ble solu­tion. Remem­ber to exhale. Don’t inhale.
  4. Take the paper tow­el tube and dip it in orange paint.
  5. Place the paper tow­el tube on the paper to make your pump­kin shape.
  6. Gen­tly put paper on top of the bub­bles and work togeth­er to pop them with your fin­gers. Voilá! You now have bub­ble snowflakes.

Home­made Bub­ble Solu­tion Supplies

  1. Water
  2. Dish soap, $3.82 online
  3. Either glyc­erin, $5.63 or corn syrup, $10.95 online

Total: $9.45 or $14. 77. You might already have these prod­ucts at home.

Home­made Bub­ble Solu­tion Steps

  1. Mea­sure six cups of water.
  2. Add 1 cup of dish soap and stir.
  3. Use either 1 table­spoon of glyc­erin or ¼ cup of corn syrup and pour it into the dish soap solu­tion and stir.


  1. Snowflake BentleyLearn about Wil­son Bent­ley, the man who pho­tographed snowflakes. Read the biog­ra­phy, Snowflake Bent­ley, by Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin and Mary Azar­i­an
  2. Watch this Youtube video about Wil­son Bentley.
  3. Ask, “do you think snowflakes have col­or or all they white because of the snow?” For old­er chil­dren, this is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss prisms.
  4. Look at the snowflakes you cre­at­ed togeth­er. Dis­cuss what shapes you and your child observe.
  5. Look at the col­ors from the bub­ble solu­tion. Ask, “Did one col­or show up bet­ter than the oth­er? Why do you think that is?”

Snow Erup­tion,
a Win­ter Sci­ence Experiment

This sci­ence exper­i­ment takes the tra­di­tion­al bak­ing soda vol­cano to a new lev­el. This exper­i­ment should be done out­side so bun­dle up.


  1. Bak­ing soda
  2. Vine­gar
  3. Food col­or­ing
  4. A cup

If you have all of these ingre­di­ents on hand, there’s no cost!

snow eruption


  1. Head out­side into the snow.
  2. Place the cup on the ground.
  3. Work togeth­er to form a mound of snow around the cup.
  4. Work togeth­er to form a cone shape. Any size will do.
  5. As a fam­i­ly, add a few drops of food col­or­ing. Any col­or or mul­ti­ple col­ors will do.
  6. Choose one mem­ber of the fam­i­ly to pour the vinegar.
  7. Watch your snow begin to change color.


  1. Let's Look at WinterFind a non­fic­tion book about win­ter such as Let’s Look at Win­ter by Sarah Schuette and learn about this cold season.
  2. Ask, “what on earth is a cone shape?”
  3. Research and then dis­cuss, “what is the reac­tion that caused the eruption?”
  4. If you mixed col­ors dis­cuss what new col­ors were created.
  5. Since you are out­doors, spend time observ­ing nature. Point out what you see (birds, trees and clouds).

Oth­er Great Win­ter Sto­ries to Enjoy

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