Family STEAM Challenge: Puffy Snow Paint

an at-home project from the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire

Sarah Zwiefelhofer |

The chilly weather has us wanting to stay inside, but we can still play with “snow” in the warmth of our home!

This Issue’s Topic:

Exploring and observing the science behind using different substances to make art, science, and fun!

The Mission:

Use your scientific and detective skills to figure out the best way to make puffy snow paint!

The Challenge:

How can you make puffy paint that looks like snow? 

Materials You Could Use (But Are Not Limited To):
  • White (or clear) glue
  • Shaving cream
  • Paper
  • Paint brushes
  • Food coloring (optional)
Making Puffy Snow Paint:

This challenge is very open-ended as it can be applied whenever and wherever the materials are available.

This experiment can get messy, but the clean up is easy! First you need equal parts glue and shaving cream. Mix them together until fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix, or all the bubbles in the shaving cream will pop and your paint won’t be fluffy anymore. You can add food coloring to your mix to make different colors. 

Once everything is combined, use a paint brush to create your own artwork or paint a color page. Let it dry overnight and the paint will stay puffy.

Clean-up is easy as all it takes is a warm water wash cloth.

Questions to Mull Over:

  • Can you over-mix or under-mix?
  • What happens when you do one of the above?
  • Does a paint brush or popsicle stick work best for applying the paint?
  • Does food coloring change the consistency? 

Thank you to Sarah Zwiefelhofer with the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire for making this STEAM challenge possible.

The Family STEAM Challenge is all about experimenting with the ordinary to make the extraordinary! Chippewa Valley Family challenges your family to think and play together all in the name of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (that’s where the STEAM comes in). 

Each challenge can be completed as a family or a group of friends in as little or as much time needed; however, most challenges can be completed within one sitting. The Family STEAM Challenge is also designed to get all ages involved through hands on experimenting. So get ready to put your collective thinking caps on to design a seriously cool apparatus made almost entirely out of reusable or recyclable materials laying around the house.