Snow Ice Cream

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My mother recently reminded me of this activity from my own childhood, the process of taking fresh-fallen snow and turning it into a marvelous melty cupful of snow ice cream. I couldn’t wait for the next snowy day to share it with my son!

To start, we needed to collect snow of course. Make sure you head out when it’s first tracks and the snow has just fallen glistening from the sky – otherwise you’re not going to want to eat it.

snow day

My “recipe” here is in exact, and you’ll want to vary the amounts according to taste. We took our full cup of snow inside and saturated the top with almond milk until it was a bit slushy. Next we stirred in about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup.

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Travis didn’t stop until he reached the bottom of the cup!

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Expanding Snowman

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We’ve been waiting for a snowy day around here, because snow always lends itself to exciting winter games and science experiments. With leftover Alka-Seltzer tablets on hand, I had plans for exactly how we could use the snow this time around.

First, I drew a snowman’s face for Travis on a plastic bag. Note to self: next time use a sharpie! We had some inky orange and black hands later on…

Expanding Snowman (1)

Next we needed to collect fresh-fallen snow into our bag. Make sure you fill your bag almost to capacity with snow, or this experiment won’t work. We learned by trial and error!

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Now drop in two Alka-seltzer tablets and seal the bag. You may want to place it on a towel, just in case the bag bursts…

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Over the course of about an hour, we checked on the bag. The tablets slowly release gas that will make your snowman puff up more and more and more.

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Here’s Travis poking a bag filled mostly with gas and leftover slush by the end.

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I think the process would be even better if I had left the bag outside, so the snow didn’t melt simultaneously as the gas expanded – whoops!

The whole thing takes a while, of course, because the tablets react very slowly with freezing cold water. Because he grew impatient as we waited, I filled a second bag with hot water from the tap and we dropped in a few Alka-Seltzer.

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They immediately fizzed and the bag puffed up with gas, and we talked about why the reaction happened so much faster in the heat.

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Can’t wait for the next snowfall and the chance for more snowy games! What do you do with your kiddos to take advantage of a snow day? Please share in the comments!