Snowflakes are one of the wonders of wintertime. Their sparkling, one-of-a-kind shapes turn the outdoors into a wonderland. These facts about the snow are a perfect way to introduce kids to the magic and science of wintertime.
Snow is a type of frozen precipitation. There is incredible weather science behind each snowflake and each snowstorm. The following snowflake facts are sure to capture children’s attention.
Snow is made of tiny ice crystals.
Rain and snow are types of precipitation (water that falls to the earth). Snow is frozen precipitation.
Wonder what makes a snowflake’s shape? The crystal shape is based on temperature, air moisture, and the direction and speeds the snowflake falls.
There are 35 basic snowflake shapes.
Snow is almost 90% air.
Along with snow, other kinds of frozen precipitation are ice crystals, sleet, hail, and graupel. (Look at pictures of each kind, then try to identify them next time it snows!)
Algae can make snow look different colors, like red, blue, green, and pink.
When snow looks pink or red, it is called watermelon snow.
Snow is clear. It looks white because of how sunlight reflects off of it.
Snowflakes almost always have six sides. But they can have 3 or 12 sides every once in a while.
One giant snowflake was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.
Snowflakes can take two hours to travel from a cloud to the ground.
But usually, it takes about one hour for a snowflake to reach the ground.
Snowy Weather Facts
Snowstorms are a wild and incredible part of winter. They remind us how the weather influences our daily lives. Kids will love learning these snowy weather facts, whether watching the snow through a window or exploring the outdoors.
Thundersnow is a rare thunderstorm that happens when it is snowing.
Snow blindness happens when the sun reflecting off the snow hurts your eyes. It’s kind of like a sunburn on your eyeballs.
Blizzards are big snowstorms. To be called a blizzard, a snowstorm must have fast winds, lots of snow, and last at least 3 hours.
Snow rollers are the snowy version of tumbleweeds. Wind pushes a clump of snow across the ground. The snow rolls in a cylinder shape, getting bigger and bigger.
In one hour in Copenhagen, New York, 12 inches of snow fell! That’s the most recorded in 1 hour.
But Vermont is the snowiest state.
Snowy cities have places to put all the plowed snow. These giant piles can last until summer.
Interesting Snow Facts
Share this interesting snow trivia with kids during snowy drives or play times. These facts about the snow are incredible for sparking conversations and imagination. Could you follow up the trivia with an open-ended question to keep conversations flowing?
The tallest snowman was 122 feet tall! That’s taller than a 12-story building.
In winter, some places have giant snow mazes you can walk through.
Snow can change how it sounds outside. Fluffy, new snow can muffle sounds. Snow that melts and then freezes again can make everything sound louder.
Japanese macaques (muh-kaks) love to make and play with snowballs. That’s one reason they are called snow monkeys!
For the Winter Olympics, people have to use snow machines to make enough snow.
Animals will grow “winter coats” that are white. This helps them camouflage in the snow.
At 19 years old, Wilson Bentley was the first person to take close-up photographs of snowflakes.
I live in the Midwest, and building snow forts and tunnels is a favorite winter activity for kids. These igloo facts are a great way to help capture children’s imagination and spark creativity. They also can help children learn about other communities and cultures.
Igloo means “house” or “shelter” in the Inuit language.
When igloos are made correctly, they are very strong – so strong an adult can stand on them.
Small igloos are used for a short time, like during a hunting trip. Bigger igloos can be long-term winter shelters.
I hope that somewhere in this list of snow facts for kids, you found the perfect conversation starter for your child or classroom. These interesting snow facts and 100+ ice sensory activities should help prepare you and your child to learn and explore the coldest season.
If you share any of these with your child, please comment and share any adorable, hilarious, or brilliant ways they responded.