Finding Science in Snowflakes

Snow filled wood at Ft. Williams Park Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland, Maine –  This winter has brought some fantastic snowfall. And more is coming! But I must confess, we’ve gone sledding, snowman building, snow angel making, and even thought about building an igloo. But even with all of this snow, we never actually looked at it. I mean really looked at it.

But this book changed that. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson. And it deserves a spot on your shelf, too. This nonfiction children’s book is told with the wonder of your favorite picture books. And it’s packed with fascinating snow facts that I enjoyed learning just as much as my munchkins did.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonders

After seeing the amazing photographs of snow crystals and after learning that six is a snowflake’s magic number, we held a cookie sheet (covered in black construction paper) outside to catch snowflakes for close inspection. (Note: following the author’s directions, we put our cookie sheet outside and under shelter for 10 minutes to make it cold enough for catching snow.)

We used a pocket microscope to examine our snowflakes.

We used a pocket microscope to examine our snowflakes. The author suggests a magnifying glass which is a great idea!

Judging by my 4-year-old’s reaction, he’ll never look at falling snow the same way. And neither will I!

Tips: The back of the book has instructions for catching and examining snow crystals. That said, suit up and do this science project outside as opposed to opening the window. You’ll have longer to examine the crystals before they melt.




  1. Science Investigation
  2. Math Concepts
  3. Familiarization with scientific tools
  4. Fun with nature
  5. Time with you!