Brown cardboard packages are plentiful this time of year. Along with the treasures the boxes hold inside, there are often packing peanuts.
The kids had so much fun using biodegradable packing peanuts in our Vanishing Ghosts activity, that they’ve been begging to do it again. This time around we turned them into this fun Melting Snowmen STEM activity.
Packing peanuts are always a hit here. The kids love to fill a large box with them and then snuggle into it. They also have used toothpicks to build simple Styrofoam structures. But the starch ones that dissolve in water make this activity lots of fun.
Packet Peanut Melting Snowmen Winter STEM Activity
- Biodegradable Packing Peanuts (like these)
- Black & Orange Permanent Markers
- Small Bowl
Use permanent markers to draw a snowman face on each packing peanut. Remember, they MUST be biodegradable packing peanuts. (That means they are made of starch, not polystyrene.) If your child is anything like mine, they will want to do this activity several times, so be sure to have plenty of snowmen ready.
Once you have a collection of snowmen, it is time to make them melt, with a bit of science “magic.”
Fill a small bowl with water. (We just used room temperature water.) Have your child place one snowman on top of the water and watch what happens.
Almost immediately you will start to see small bubbles appearing on the sides of your snowman. In minutes the snowman will completely melt right before your eyes!
Your results may depend on the type of biodegradable packing peanuts you use. Ours dissolved within just a couple minutes. If it seems to be taking too long for the snowmen to melt, try using warm water to help speed up the process.
This melting snowman activity would be fun for a Frozen-themed party. (Think Olaf’s song about summer.) It would also be great at the end of winter/beginning of spring. Regardless of when you do it, this biodegradable packing peanut activity is sure to be a hit.
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- The Science of Sledding
- Build a Snowman Phonics Pack from This Reading Mama