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5 Nature Crafts and Winter Walks for Seattle-Area Families

Connect kids and nature with these crafty adventures for fall and winter

Lauren Braden

Published on: October 27, 2020

5 Nature Crafts and Winter Walks for Seattle-Area Families

Close up of snowflake snow crystal nature crafts for kids all winter long

5. Observe snowflakes, then make snow ice cream

If snow starts to fall, let its magic draw you outside. Bring a magnifying glass in your pocket, and wear dark-colored gloves so falling snowflakes that land on them are more visible. Snowflakes form in the clouds above from microscopic water droplets, which collide together, freeze and build ice crystals, the start of a snowflake that will grow more intricate and complex as it attracts more ice crystals. Use your magnifying glass to see the different patterns and shapes, which are influenced by the amount of moisture and temperature. You can sketch the different snowflake patterns you see. Is the snow fluffy or heavy? Are the flakes small or large? Try catching snowflakes on your tongue to see how they taste.

Did you know you can make ice cream from snow? Just take 8 or so heaping cups of fresh, clean snow and add it to a pre-whisked mixture of ½ cup sugar, 1 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then, dig in!

Where to go for inspiration: Finding freshly fallen snow in winter takes a bit of watching the weather forecast and a bit of luck. When the snow level is down to 2,500 feet or so, the Trail of the Shadows at Longmire in Mount Rainier National Park is a flat, easy trail for children to hunt snowflakes. For beginning young snowshoers, you can’t beat the trail to Gold Creek Pond, located just a few miles east of Snoqualmie Pass. Even in Puget Sound lowlands we’ll get a snowfall once a year right in our front yard, so keep your warm coat, gloves and magnifying glass handy by the front door.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2019 and updated for 2020.

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