Exploring Snowflakes


The first part of this activity is all about observing real snowflakes. This activity can be done on a day that it is snowing. So check the weather forecast, prepare your supplies and get ready to explore! The second part involves warming up inside while creating your very own 6-pointed snowflake, inspired by your outdoor observations. 

What You‘ll Need:

  • Cardboard

  • Black felt

  • Tape or glue

  • Magnifying glass

  • Square white paper, any size

  • Scissors


What to Do:

Part 1

  1. Tape or glue a piece of black felt to a piece of cardboard. This felted cardboard will be your observing tray.

  2. Place the observing tray in a freezer or outside for a few hours.

  3. Once the snow starts to fall, bundle up, head outside, grab your observing tray and catch some snowflakes! Because the felt has cooled, the snowflakes should stay for a few minutes, but they may still melt quickly, so be sure to observe them right away.

  4. Use your magnifying glass to look at the patterns of each snowflake. Notice how each snowflake is unique, but some may have similar patterns. Count the points of the snowflakes— many will have 6 points! 

    Part 2

  5. Take your square of paper, and fold it in half once diagonally, to make a triangle.

  6. Fold it in half again to make a smaller triangle.

  7. Fold the small triangle into thirds.

  8. Cut off the top folded part at an angle.

  9. Keep your paper folded and use your scissors to cut designs into the paper however you like.

  10. Unfold your paper to reveal the unique snowflake you have created! It can be taped to a window or wall as a beautiful, hand-crafted decoration.

    Note: Snowflakes can be made without steps 3 and 4, but these steps will give a unique, 6-pointed snowflake, just like the ones you saw outside.

Ask yourself:

  • How does my snowflake compare to the ones I saw outside? How are they similar, and how are they different?

  • Are there other parts of nature with unique patterns like snowflakes?

  • Imagine talking about snow to a friend living in a hot place who has never seen snow. How would you describe what snowflakes look like, or how it feels to be outside when snow is falling?

Blog post written by Claire Merkosky, SCiP intern.