Demonstrate How Heat Affects Snow

Snowy branch

Demonstrate how heat affects snow with this wintry activity.

What You Need

  • Snow or crushed ice (about 3 handfuls)
  • 3 plastic containers

What You Do

  1. Put Ice in Containers
    Put the same amount of snow or crushed ice in each container.
  2. Position Containers
    Have your child place one container near a heating vent that is turned on; one container on a table, away from the sun or any other heat source; and one container in a refrigerator.
  3. Make Predictions
    Ask your child:

    • Which container of snow/crushed ice do you think will melt the fastest?
    • Which do you think will melt the slowest?
  4. Check Containers and Discuss Results
    Continue to check on the containers until the snow/ice in one has melted at least halfway. Now ask your child:

    • Did you guess correctly?
    • Which container of snow/ice melted the fastest? Why?
    • Which melted the slowest? Why?
  5. Draw Conclusions
    • Help your child conclude that the more heat you apply to snow or ice, the faster it will melt.
    • If the weather is beginning to thaw in your area, help your child to make a connection between the heat that melted the snow/ice in the experiment and the warm weather that is melting the snow and ice outside.

    Snowy branch