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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Catching Snowflakes

Christmas is past, and with our two sons, it was a wonderful time to reflect on the Christ child and enjoy gift-giving.  The spirit will linger and our decorations will remain for the week.  What could be better?  SNOW... and it is coming our way.

I remember as a child walking home from school on cold winter days in our little town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho watching huge snowflakes fall from a crisp white sky.  I would slowly meander and frequently stop to look skyward, catching flakes on my tongue and blinking away flakes that landed on my lashes.

As I type, it has begun to swirl outdoors, promising several inches.  Inside we watch and wait.  We are waiting for the afternoon when there will be several inches and we will break out the snowpants and sleds and the special dark cloth.  Yes, you read right. The Special Dark Cloth.

I keep an 8 inches by 11 inches cloth swatch specifically for snowy days so we can catch snowflakes and see them up close.  All you have to do is pick a dark fabric, we use navy blue cotton, and a piece of cardboard to set the cloth on so it will stay flat.  Five minutes before you go out, set the cloth outside so it can reach the outdoor temperature, otherwise the flakes will melt when they hit the cloth.

Once you are ready to go out let you little ones hold the cloth on the cardboard letting snow fall on the cloth.  After 30 seconds, go under shelter and look up close.  Among the clumps of flakes, you should see some individual snow crystals.


A wonderful books to learn about snowflakes and see them up close.
The beautiful enlarged photographs of snow crystals in this book put it at the top of my winter science reading list. It explores the science of snowflakes showing how they are formed and the different kinds of crystals. The authors, Jon Nelson and Mark Cassino, created a blog for the book where you will find photos, illustrations, videos, and a teacher's guide. Snowflake study is a wonderful way to use science to explore the beauty and order of creation. 

May you have time this week to enjoy nature and the beauty it holds.


  1. What an amazingly simple idea! Unfortunately we haven't had any snow at all yet over here in Ireland. Thanks so much for joining in the outdoor play party this time too. Kierna

  2. How neat! What a great hands on experience for observing snow! If we ever get a chance to spend winter where it snow, I am gong to try this idea with our kids.

    Thank you for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party, and I am posting this idea on my Facebook page, The Golden Gleam.

  3. Snow flakes look so pretty close up.

  4. What a brilliant idea! Hopefully, hopefully we will have some snow by the end of the month - very mild here in England at the moment - so we can give it a go.


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