Science for the Season

Frost on a window.

Explore the wonders of winter with at-home fun

Frosted window panes; a sky full of delicate snowflakes; a flurry of activity beneath the ice, amongst the trees and all around us … winter truly is a wonderland! There is so much to learn throughout the colder months, from the science of snowflakes to the hibernation habits of different creatures and beyond.

Turn your kitchen into a laboratory as you grow crystal snowflakes, make fireworks in a jar and mix up a batch of holiday-inspired play dough. Suit up in your warmest gear and explore biodiversity in your own backyard, then head in for some warm, freshly baked cookies complete with animal footprints. And of course, don’t forget to spend some snowy days sharing science with your whole household with science-themed games.

Check out our calendar for an overview of what’s to come. There are endless winter wonders to uncover!

A girl holds snowballs while dressed for winter.
Homemade Snow Create a winter wonderland indoors by making your own snow using common household supplies. Easy to make, this packable, rollable and buildable snow keeps for up to a week. Homemade Snow
A hand folded paper toy with drawing of snow on it.
Ice and Snow Fortune Teller Make an origami finger game that reveals snowy science facts--from the coldest temperature to the biggest snowfall. Fold The Facts Ice And Snow
A child rolls out homemade play dough.
Homemade Play Dough Play with chemistry as you measure, mix and knead ingredients to create play dough you can pull, squeeze, twist and poke! Homemade Play Dough
A toy beaver.
Animal Track Cookies Lots of wildlife lies low during the colder months, but many creatures stay busy as ever. They leave behind traces of their activity everywhere, especially after a fresh snowfall! Create your own animal tracks from the warmth of your kitchen—and prepare a tasty treat while you’re at it. Once you’re done munching on cookies and studying the toes, claws, size and gait of common creatures, why not head outside and look for the real thing? Animal Track Cookies
A close up image of a snowflake.
Grow a Crystal Snowflake Winter weather can be so unpredictable. One day, the sky is full of flurries; the next day, there’s not a flake to be found. Luckily, there’s no need to wait for the perfect precipitation—it’s easy to make your own crystallized snowflakes at home! All it takes is a few simple materials and some snowy science to create a beautiful crystal you can admire from the warmth of your kitchen. Grow a Crystal Snowflake
An owl perched on a snowy tree.
Backyard Biodiversity Bingo: Winter Edition Grab your coziest coat and your best winter boots, because it’s time to head outdoors for a game of Backyard Biodiversity Bingo: Winter Edition. Take a trip to your backyard, visit a nearby park or find another greenspace to explore. See if you can spot an owl’s daytime roost, keep a lookout for potential hazards to birds and search for signs of life under the snow. You’ll be saying bingo before you know it! Backyard Biodiversity: Winter
A close up of a snowflake.
Make a Six-Sided Paper Snowflake If you’re an expert snow architect, you know that wetter, warmer snow is a better building material than the dryer, colder stuff. But do you know why this is? To understand the science behind the perfect packing snow, you need to know how snowflakes form. Learn all about the importance of temperature and humidity for snow formation, then study snowflake shapes with a simple, symmetrical craft. Snowflake Science
A close up of a snowflake.
Cranium Qs: Winter Words Enjoy some family fun and brush up on your winter science vocabulary with our take on the game HedBanz. Gather around the couch or kitchen table, grab a headband and get ready to learn. Ask your family as many yes/no questions as you need to figure out your secret science word. Take turns and take your time—this game is all about learning, not speed. Cranium Qs: Winter Words
A close up view of a frozen orb.
Ice Orbs It’s always the season for bubbles! Mix up a batch of our famous bubble recipe inside, then bundle up and head outside on a cold day to put a new twist on this traditional summer activity. Watch as your bubbles freeze to create beautiful, glass-like ice orbs. Make Ice Orbs
A sundial made out of a paper plate and pencil.
Make a Sundial Get the most out of the winter sunshine! Study and celebrate Earth’s most important star this December during the winter solstice. Make your own sundial and observe it closely in the days leading up to and following December 21, the shortest day of the year. How do the sundial’s shadows change as the Sun moves to its lowest point in our sky, then slowly back up again? There’s only one way to find out! Make a Sundial
A white fox curls up in the snow.
Wildlife in Winter Some animals hibernate through the winter months, some migrate and others curl up on the couch streaming movies. You may be more familiar with some of these winter strategies than others—why not put your knowledge to the test? Learn about hibernation, brumation, diapause, torpor, migration and adaptation, then see if you can guess which strategies different species use to get through the colder months. Wildlife in Winter

Fireworks in a Jar

Looking for a fun New Year’s Eve craft to help brighten your celebrations? Create your own unique indoor “firework” display using just water, oil, food colour and a jar. Kick off the New Year with fun, family and—of course—science!

Snowflake Science

Facebook Live recording, December 16, 2020

Snow secrets! Learn all about how flakes form, the different types and how they get their six-sided shape.

Astounding Animals

Facebook Live recording, December 30, 2020

Learn about 2020's most spectacular science stories from the animal kingdom. Why are these creatures so scientifically captivating? And what implications do these findings have for humans? There’s only one way to find out!