Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to really embrace winter and all the exciting science activity opportunities the cold weather opens up. I’ve put together an exciting collection of winter science experiments and winter STEM challenges perfect for cheering up a dreary January.
Don’t forget I’ve also got 100s more easy science experiments to do at home and not just for winter!
Easy Winter STEM Challenges for Kids
All my children love playing with ice, there is something about it being cold and slippy that really appeals to them. There are endless different ways to explore ice and melting, and all make a great winter science experiment.
Firstly, try a super simple melting activity to learn about changes of state.
Discover whether ice melts faster in hot or cold water with my fishing activity. This is one of my favourite winter science experiments, but it is also great for summertime too. All you need to do is freeze a plastic fish or small counter in a cube of ice along with a piece of string. Tie the other end of the string to a stick, and you have your very own ice fishing rod!
Try some painting on ice, this is another very simple science activity. Just freeze a sheet of ice and paint over the top. Children can paint, wipe the ice clean and paint again!
We love these pretty ice decorations, when it’s very cold outside I leave a water-filled ice cube tray outside, and we check to see whether the water freezes overnight.
Little Bins for Little Hands has some lovely frozen hands. These are very appealing to young children and great fun to melt!
Make some seasonal ice. Try adding pinecones and leaves in autumn, colourful petals and flowers in summer and perhaps some wildflower petals in spring.
How about this sparkly ice version? One simple activity is to find ways to make it melt faster. Try using warm water or salt to speed up the melting process.
We had lots of fun with our baking soda ice cubes and love this frozen vinegar idea from Inspiration Laboratories.
Move wire through ice. A grown up might have to help with this one, and you don’t have to use a large a piece as we did.
Try to make your own frost. This one is always very popular in our house. Frost appears on the side of the can as you watch! For some extra fun try decorating the can to look like a snowman or Santa!
Colour mixing with fruity ice. This one is good for summer as well, you can make fun slushy drinks and see what colours you end up with.
Do you know you can make hot ice?
The Artful Parent has a gorgeous melting ice, salt and watercolour experiment.
Finally, and this is my favourite. Investigate how to help a toy car move across a sheet of ice. Try to find ways to stop the car slipping on the surface.
Snow STEM Challenges for Kids
If you’re lucky enough to have some snow, how about making a snow volcano? You’ll just need snow, red food colouring, baking soda and vinegar.
Snowman Science Experiments
Find out how simple circuits work with this easy playdough light up snowman.
If you don’t have snow, try to make your own snow with one my three easy snow recipes.
Do you have any other winter or icy science ideas for us?
Which is your favourite winter science experiment?
Winter STEM Challenges for Kids
Learn about forces with our super simple snowman catapult!
We love this snowman stretch challenge from Feel Good Teaching.
Make a raft for a reindeer or try one my other festive STEM Challenges.
Winter STEM Challenge Printable
Download my FREE winter STEM Challenges printable.
Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Emma Vanstone
Katie @ Gift of Curiosity
These are some fantastic and original ideas for playing with ice. I especially like the ice in a balloon and seasonal ice activities. I look forward to trying some of these out with my kids!
Let us know how you get on. x
Great ideas to keep kids busy during winter months. Thank you
Glad you like them.
Brilliant, thank you!
Thank you. xxx
Capture by Lucy
Wow I just found your post through Coombemill! We had great fun with dino ice this week!
ooooh dino ice sounds good. x
Love this! We just played with ice for a sensory activity the other day!! We’ll have to try these ideas sometime! http://teachingmama.org/winter-sensory-play-day-3/
Great fun! we’ll be giving some of these a try for sure. We msde ice paints last week which were great fun!
We make ice boats!
1. Grab a not-too-deep, plastic container of any shape
2. Grab a mast – we like to use large wooden popsicle sticks as they are not so harmful to the environment, but some people use a drinking straw
3. Make a sail to fit your mast – as simple or elaborate as you like. We use paper or cardboard and tape it to the mast
4. Pop a small ball of modelling clay or blutac into the base and secure the mast upright
5. Fill the container two thirds with water – we often add some food dye, this looks amazing as the boats melt, especially if you can convince your small people to let the water alone so it stays very still and flat (in this case, you get another science lesson as you observe currents and eddies)
6. Freeze then sail in a bathtub or splashpool or even a baby bath