Alternative Snowflakes

Suggested Grades



Children will discover how snowflakes in nature are really formed, and recreate this process with paper and glue


  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  • Explain that snowflakes are created by water vapours bumping into tiny dust particles, which changes the vapour into an ice-crystal (“sublimation”). This ice crystal then grows by bumping into other vapour molecules. When it becomes heavy enough, it falls to the ground as a snowflake.
  • Play “Snowflake Game”: Split children into two groups- water vapour and dust particles. Children drift around slowly and quietly, and when they bump into the opposite (w.vapour or dust particle) they join hands. Once this occurs, these pairs drift and the process repeats itself until the whole class is joined to form a snowflake. (Note: I made the mistake of playing this in the classroom- Noisy! and lack of space.)
  • Making snowflakes: Children first cut out a circle from white paper (water vapour), then rip and/or cut tiny pieces of paper (dust particles) to be glued onto the circle.
  • You may want to have all the snowflakes join to display as one BIG snowflake!

Additional Resources


Snow, John Bianchi and Frank B. Edwards, Pub. Bungalow Books, 1992, ISBN: 0-921285-09-4