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DIY: Snowstorm in a Jar

While Mother Nature is creating flurries in some parts of the country, you can make a snowstorm of your own right at your kitchen table. Gather kids of all ages and generate a fizzy storm in a jar using household ingredients. Here is everything you need to know about this snowy science experiment.

Words by The Creative Experts at Little Passports
Photos by Jessica Friend 

Materials:

  • Water (about 1 cup)
  • Baby oil
  • Glitter
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • White paint
  • Blue food coloring
  • Glass jar
  • Stir stick

Instructions:

1.  Fill your jar about three-fourths full with baby oil. In a separate bowl, blend water and a few tablespoons of white paint.

2.  Add as much glitter and blue food coloring to the oil as you’d like, and then top off the jar with your water and paint mixture.

3.  Drop the Alka-Seltzer tablet into the jar and take a step back.

The Science Behind This Experiment

This experiment works for a few reasons. Because oil is less dense than water, the water will naturally sink to the bottom of the jar. When the Alka-Seltzer is dropped into the jar, its interaction with the water creates pressure in an upward direction, and the oil pushes it back down. This pressure back and forth is part of what creates the snowstorm.

The other element is the interaction between water and sodium bicarbonate in the Alka-Seltzer, which generates carbon dioxide gas. The combination of these factors creates a blizzard every time!

Whether the temperature is plummeting outdoors or you just want to bring a bit of winter fun to a summer day, your snowstorm in a jar is a foolproof way to get kids interested in science. With under $10 in ingredients, a whimsical lesson plan awaits!

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PLAYGROUND
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