Make Puffy Paint & Use to Paint Snowy Scenes
In this science activity, kids will use a glue and shaving cream solution to paint snowy scenes.
Simple Explanation: Mixing the glue and shaving cream makes a "solution" that you can use for art projects. This is chemistry!
Detailed Explanation: While puffy paint is a totally different substance than snow, this is a great time to explain to kids the science behind snow and ice. Try these "Ever wonder?" questions:
EVER WONDER WHAT SNOW IS? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). If a cloud gets cold enough, water droplets freeze around specs of dust in the air and form chains of ice crystals. These chains then grow into lacy, six-pointed stars. By the way, if it seems like it’s quieter outside after a fresh snowfall – it is. Soft, fluffy snow actually absorbs sound waves. But when snow crusts over, the opposite happens – it bounces back sound waves, making sounds louder and clearer. Snow also makes it look lighter outside because it reflects so much light.
EVER WONDER IF SNOWFLAKES LOOK ALIKE? Snowflakes usually have six points, and are always symmetrical (which means they look the same on both sides when divided down the middle). But while they may look alike from afar, up close snowflakes are almost always different. The size of a snowflake depends largely on how cold it is outside. If it is well below the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit), “dry snow” occurs. This kind of snow is hard to clump together because it has very little liquid in it (it is mostly ice crystals). These snowflakes tend to be very small. The closer the air temperature is to the freezing point, the wetter the snow. Wet snow makes great snowballs!
EVER WONDER WHAT IS ICE MADE OF? Ice is water (a liquid) frozen into a solid. Ice is hard, cold and slippery. Freezing happens when the molecules in a liquid get cold and move closer together. Most liquids will eventually freeze into a solid.
EVER WONDER WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS BETWEEN ICE AND SNOW? Snowflakes are small clusters of ice crystals that fall and lay on the ground like feathers, with air trapped between them. Ice is a frozen solid mound of ice crystals with little or no trapped air. Sometimes snowflakes melt before they reach the ground. This can cause freezing rain, sleet or hail. Freezing rain is snow that hits a layer of warm air on the way down and becomes rain, then passes through a layer of cold air again. When the cooled raindrops strike frozen ground, they freeze too, causing ice. Sleet is raindrops or partially melted snow flakes that freeze into solid, clear, tiny ice pellets. Unlike freezing rain, sleet is a solid that bounces when it hits the ground. Sleet, like snow, is common in the winter. Hail is formed when ice pellets bounce around in the atmosphere, going in and out of warm and cold air, causing layers of ice to form. Sometimes so many layers form that the hail stone becomes the size of golf ball – or bigger! Hail is more common in the unstable air of spring thunderstorms than during the winter. Ice can also form on the ground when snow melts then refreezes.
EVER WONDER WHY SALT MELTS ICE? Salt makes water freeze at a lower temperature. So, at 32 degrees, water without salt is frozen, but water with salt is still a liquid.
- Washable school glue - 1/2 cup per student
- Disposable cup or beaker - 1 of this item per student
- Shaving cream - enough to fill a small cup
- Disposable spoon - 1 of this item per student
- Dark blue construction paper - 1 of this item per student
- Paint brush - 1 of this item per student
Pour 1/2 cup of washable school glue into the disposable cup or beaker.
Add shaving cream until the cup is almost full.
Stir the glue and shaving cream mixture until well mixed.
Paint a snowy scene on the construction paper.