Monday 19th , 2012
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What is snow? Snow is a form of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of snowflakes that fall from clouds. It is known as a granular material because it is made up of small ice particles.  There are a variety of sizes and shapes of snowflakes, some which fall in the form of a ball due to melting and refreezing and others that fall in the form of a flake.  Snowfall is the process of precipitating snow and tends to form within an extratropical cyclone, a region of upward motion of air around a type of low pressure system.


A snowball is a spherical object made from snow, usually created by scooping snow with the hands, and compacting it into a roughly fist-sized ball.  Snowball fights are an engaging game in which snowballs are used in a light-hearted manner to throw at friends, family or targets.  In creating a snowball it is the amount of pressure exerted by the hands on the snow which determines how compact the snowball will be. Low pressure will lead to a light and soft snowball whereas heavy pressure produces a hard snowball or iceball, which can be harmful during a snowball fight.

A snowball may also be a large ball of snow formed by rolling a smaller snowball on a snow-covered surface. The smaller snowball grows by picking up additional snow as it rolls. The terms "snowball effect", "snowballing" and "Y Gasseg Eira" are named after this process. This technique is often used to create snowmen. Often a snowman can be created using this method of snowballing, to create the sections needed to build the sculpture.

There are some temperature/humidity ranges that prohibit or restrict the formulation of a snowball. With a powdery snow, snowballs are difficult to form. In temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F), there is little free water in the snow, which leads to crumbly snowballs. At 0 °C (32 °F) or above, melted water in the snow results in a better cohesion. If you're walking on snow and it squeaks, chances are the temperature/humidity level won't form a snowball, because squeaking means that the snow is dry.

Snow Facts

Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes have the same shape? If you have, have you ever wondered how that can be with the billions of snowflakes that fall each year? Well, there have been 2 snowflakes found that were identical. If someone says that phrase again, you can tell them the truth!

Snowflakes start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake. The size of the snowflake depends on how many crystals hook together. Snowflakes usually have six sides. Here are the different kinds of snowflake shapes.


There is so much to learn and experience with snow and snow play.  You can experience it all this winter by visiting Kidspace Children’s Museum during Snow Days, December 26-30th.  Do some dry ice experiments, compact the perfect snow ball, go ice fishing, and get creative with winter art.  It will be snow-a-riffic for all!


Blog Entry by:

Julianne Sando, Birthday & Event Coordinator at Kidspace