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Help relieve cabin fever with these cold weather experiments

Cold weather experiments
Posted at 9:33 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 10:33:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Experiencing cabin fever yet? Running out of things to do in this bitter cold with your family? Here are a few activities and science experiments you can try outside with your kids to help relieve that cabin fever feeling and learn something new in the process.

  1. Magic balloons: Watch balloons shrink and expand going from the inside warmth to the outside chill. As the balloon enters the cold air, the helium or air molecules lose their energy and move closer together. This decreases the volume inside the balloon and makes the shell of the balloon shrink.
  2. Make snow/cloud: Throw a cup of boiling water into the sub-zero air and watch the water evaporate so quickly that it turns into a cloud and even makes snow. (Throw it well away from yourself and your children.)
  3. Make instant slushies: Cool a bottle of soda or water below the freezing point without turning them solid. A supercooled liquid will instantly turn solid once jostled.
  4. Shrink a water bottle: Fill a water bottle 1/3 full with hot water (not boiling). Then submerge the bottle in the snow and watch the bottle collapse. As the temperature changes inside the bottle, the pressure decreases. The difference in air pressure from outside the bottle is greater than the pressure inside the bottle and crushes it.
  5. Freeze different liquids: Place cups of water, vinegar and vegetable oil outside. Watch and see how long it takes for each liquid to freeze. You'll notice a few of the liquids freeze at different times due to each complex molecular composition which changes a liquid's freezing point.
  6. Freeze bubbles: Watch bubbles form a crystalline structure before reaching the ground.

Give these a try and let us know how it goes! Happy arctic blast!