Mystery Solved … by SCIENCE!
We were reading Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day yesterday. Absolute classic children’s story about a little boy exploring the snow. We will be trying out some of Peter’s ideas in the coming days.
We’ll walk with our toes pointed out, we’ll walk with our toes pointed in. We’ll drag our feet to make tracks, and make tracks with stick. We might even try snowballs!
I’ve done all that before with small children. Yesterday, though, I stumbled across something new. When Peter goes in for the evening, he puts a snowball in his pocket for the next day. When he checks on his snowball before bed … it’s gone!
“Where did it go?” I asked the children. Because of course you chat about your books as you read. “Where did Peter’s snowball go?
Three pairs of eyes gaze back at me. Full of blankness. No inspiration there, at all, at all.
I point to the suspicious spot on the outside of his coat. “It sure looks like his coat is wet. Why would his pocket be wet like that?” Hint, hint…
Nope. More blankness. They truly don’t know.
Well, now. This calls for some investigation! So out we go to the front porch. Well, in the interests of efficiency, out I go. Scoop up a small bowl of snow, and bring it in. We peer into the depths and make our observations.
We discover that the snow is white, and cold, and a bit prickly under our fingers. (I think the “prickly” was their way of describing the ice crystals in there, or maybe just the intense cold on a warm fingertip.)
We put the bowl on the table and went away. Every few minutes we’d come back and have another look. And damned if the snow wasn’t getting smaller! And now there was water in the bowl, too! And maybe, maybe the snow isn’t as white as it was?
A few minutes later, we’re sure. No, the snow isn’t so white. In fact, it’s getting clearer. And there’s even more water in there!
Any ideas why?
It’s a mystery! Isn’t that exciting?!?
When the bowl is largely a small collection of watery slush, I give them each a tiny dollop of snow in their palms.
“Just hold it, guys. Hold your hands still and watch that snow. Tell me what happens to it.”
It’s a matter of seconds before each small pink palm holds nothing more than an even smaller puddle. They peer into their hands. They look at me.
“Well. Where’s the snow?”
Rory knows. “It’s GONE!”
“It certainly is! Where did it go?”
“You had snow in your hands. Now you have water. What happened to the snow?”
A light goes on in Grace’s face.
“Water!! At water! The snow is gone at water!”
And lo, there is much rejoicing, for verily, Grace is right. The snow is gone at water! I toss around some more words, including “frozen”, “warm”, and “melting”, but we have got the gist of it.
The snow is gone at water.
Toddler science is so fun.