How to make a snowflake activity instructions
This snowflake tutorial for kids is an opportunity for them to explore the captivating science behind snowflakes, looking at why they are always flat and have six sides.
Best of all, kids will have their own cut-out paper snowflakes, which they can use to decorate their classroom or home.
Kids can make their own unique snowflakes by cutting out a design from paper. But be warned: this activity is highly addictive!
Our step-by-step guide includes detailed instructions and photos, making it easy for parents and teachers alike to follow along. Plus, we've included information about the science behind snowflakes, including crystal formation, which explains why they always have six sides.
This activity will take approximately 50 – 60 minutes.
Step 1: Fold a corner of an A4 paper to create a square, folding one end of the paper, and then cutting it along the fold.
Step 2: Place your folded triangle in front of you, with the longest side at the bottom, then fold the right and left sides (your paper will now be quite bulky).
Step 3: After snipping off the two folds at the bottom, you will have an equilateral triangle that can be used for drawing a design.
Step 4: Cut your design and gently unfold the paper. Hey presto, you’ve made a snowflake!
Step 5: Mix it up by experimenting with different patterns and designs, such as some lines straight and some curvy.
As well as teaching children how to cut out paper snowflakes, this activity also explains the fascinating science behind the snowflake such as why snowflakes are always flat and hexagonal.
Children can learn about the types of molecules within a snowflake, so they understand how they bind together at different temperatures. They will also learn how the electrons and protons have a polar charge and how they form a hexagon shape.
This snowflake activity could be used as a main school science lesson, to introduce learners to atoms, molecules and bonding. It could also be used as one of several activities within a wider scheme of learning focusing on the use of science to understand how molecules behave at different temperatures, or as an activity to teach how paper can be folded and cut to create many unique snowflake designs.
Engineers must regularly use scientific knowledge and skills as part of their everyday job. It is therefore essential that they can work out how different molecules react at different temperatures. For example, how do engine oils work differently in hot deserts or cold polar regions?
At the end of this activity children will:
Watch our fantastic Wilf Wonders video below to discover why snowflakes form when the weather gets cold. It’s a great introduction to snowflake science. You’ll be amazed.
Once you’ve absorbed Wilf’s wisdom, download our free step-by-step guide below to making paper snowflakes and give it a go! How many different snowflake patterns can you create? If you’re up for an extra activity, try our word search that uses the words from the experiment.
All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.
You can download our pdf step-by-step instructions on how to make a snowflake as a classroom lesson plan, which includes links to videos on the science of snowflakes. Our Powerpoint also includes slides on the science of snowflakes and also has our step-by-step guide on how to design and cut out a snowflake, making it an ideal classroom presentation.
Please do share your handmade paper snowflakes with us on social media on Facebook and Twitter using our #SantaLovesSTEM hashtag. You can also send them via email to IETEducation@theiet.org to be featured in our online gallery.