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In the Kitchen We Can Build a Snowman

Word of the Week

Translucent (trans-loo-cent): Allowing light to pass through, but not detail of the images. This word comes from the Latin words lucere, meaning “to shine” and trans, meaning “through”.


I’m willing to bet that you have no idea where I might be going with our word of the week. I don’t blame you, but I promise you it’s both interesting and fun! Now that you know what translucent means, I want you to start thinking about things you see that are translucent. Remember, things that you can completely see through do not count. Those things would be considered transparent. So what kinds of things are translucent?

Wax paper, stain glass windows, tissue paper, sunglasses, a lamp shade. Get the idea now? Search around your house and try to find at least five more translucent things. It’ll take some work, but you can do it!

Now, on to the real fun. This week’s topic has something to do with my favorite kind of precipitation. SNOW.

Let’s dive in with some fun facts about snow that I’ve come across.

- Snow is actually translucent, not white! It only looks white because the sunlight is reflected off the tiny crystals. Does the word of the week make sense now?

- There are billions of molecules of water in one snowflake. WOW!

- Animals that live in the arctic sometimes eat snow to quench their thirst.

- It has snowed in all 50 states.

- Snowflakes usually fall at a speed of 2-5 feet per second. That’s basically how fast we walk when we’re taking a nice, casual stroll outside.

I don’t know about you, but I find myself always dreaming of a white Christmas. Mother Nature doesn’t always agree, so it’s not something I can count on every year. The weather forecast can change a lot in just a few days, but at the moment it doesn’t look like I’m in for any snow December 25th. . .maybe just a wintry mix on Christmas Eve.

Secretly, I’m a bit disappointed. That’s where this week’s project comes in. Who ever said that snow had to come from the sky? Well, other than the weather person, that is. That’s right. . .you’ll be making your very own snow so that you can build your very own indoor snowman!!!

How? It’s so much simpler than you might think. You only need two ingredients. Any guesses?

Baking soda and hair conditioner.

Here’s the simplest recipe!

- Mix 1 ½ cups of baking soda with ¼ cup of hair conditioner in a large bowl

- That’s it!

After enough mixing, you can squeeze and shape your snow to build your own snowman. Since there isn’t any of the pretty, fluffy, white stuff outside, we can make our own inside! Oops- I meant to say pretty, fluffy, translucent stuff.

A few little notes:

- Make sure to use white conditioner, or your snow will be a bit more colorful. But, if you want to build a blue snowman, go for it!

- The snow you make will even feel cold!

- If you try to add eyes and a nose like I did, just know that you have to push them in very gently. The snow can get crumbly.

- If you store it in an airtight container, it should keep for about a week. Eventually, it will become too dry to shape.

- I doubled the recipe to make enough snow to create my snowman. He turned out to be about half a foot tall. . .but I still had extra snow to work with.

Enjoy this simple craft before you get busy enjoying the holiday.

Merry Christmas, and until next week! Gram

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