Snow Slushy

OK, so this experiment is not completely as it sounds, but it IS a great way to use some of this snow we have been getting.  So, the question is, what fun thing can you do with snow when sledding gets old and you’re just plain ready for spring?

You make a sweet slushy drink using snow!  Before you get worried and quit reading, we are not actually suggesting that you EAT the snow; however, you can definitely use it in a clever way to make a slushy treat.

What You Need:

  • Bucket o’ SnowSupplies
  • 2 Gallon Ziploc Bags
  • 12-16 oz of Water
  • Pre-Sweetened Drink Mix (Kool-Aid Singles or Crystal Light On The Go)
  • Rock Salt or Ice Cream Salt (you can even try table salt but it may dissolve quickly)

What You Do:

1. Pour approximately 1 cup of rock or ice cream salt in a gallon Ziploc bag

2. Pour your dry drink mix and water into the second gallon Ziploc bag and SEAL tightlySalt and Flavored Water



3. Place the flavored-water bag into the salt bag and add snow image



4. Seal the salt/snow Ziploc bag image




5. Begin rolling and agitating the bags NOTE: gloves are helpfulimage

6. Keep agitating the bags for about 5-7 minutes and add snow to the salt bag as needed

7. Every so often check the flavored-water bag to make sure it is sealed and to check the progress of your slushyimage



8. Once you have some nice chunks of slushy ice in your bag, pull it out and pour it into a cup!imageEnjoy your frozen concoction and dream of summer!

How does this work?

Adding salt to snow interferes with the formation of ice crystals and lowers the freezing point of the water that makes up the snow.  When you add salt to snow, the snow begins to melt.  As the snow melts, it absorbs heat energy from its surroundings.  In this experiment, the rapidly melting snow is pulling heat from the flavored water in the other baggie causing the flavored water to rapidly drop to temperatures below 32F.  As you continue to add snow to the salt, the melting snow continues to draw heat from the flavored water and causes it to turn into a delicious, frozen slushy.

This is why we often use salt to melt ice and snow on roads.  The salt melts the ice and lowers the temperature at which the water can refreeze.  On roads, the salt also has a drying effect that often times can allow the water from the ice and snow to dry up before it refreezes.

Sometimes chemistry can be so fun!

Give this a try and tell us about the results of your experiment!

– Kayte

Spring School Performances

We hope you enjoyed our fall shows!

This coming spring we have many opportunities to bring students to the Clay Center to experience the Theater and explore history, literature, and science.

We will start with a show on February 12th Jackie Robinson study guidepresented by Mad River Theater Company called “Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story”. This is a play with music about Jackie Robinson’s life and career in baseball for grades 3-12.



 On March 6th we will present “Stuart LittlStuart Little Study Guidee” a musical play adapted from the E.B. White children’s book. This performance is for K-5 and will also feature a puppet for the main character.


Our final show this season is Janet’s Planet “Touring Our Solar System” Janet's Planeton April 2nd. This show is for K-5 and will generate excitement for STEAM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) in your students.



Be sure to check our school performances page to find our curriculum and to get information to book your visit to the Clay Center!

Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly

Young Henry loves to host cooking shows, but his two year old sCooking with Henry and Elliebellyister is hardly a lovely assistant.  Eleanor, or Elliebelly as Henry calls her, pushes Henry’s limits by insisting they wear pirate hats while cooking and allowing her doll to “swim” in Henry’s creations, but somehow they work it out.

Join us on Wednesday, January 29th as we read Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly by Carolyn Parkhurst.  We are sure to learn about developing patience while having fun cooking up crazy concoctions!

Create your own chef hat using two sheets of 11×17 paper and sChef Hattaples! 

Cut one sheet of paper lengthwise into 3x17in. strips, measure “the chef’s” head and staple the strips together to make a band for the base of the hat.  Fan-fold the second 11×17 sheet of paper and staple it to the band to make a tall chef hat.  Wear the hat while cooking up some fun in the kitchen!    


Wee Wednesdays take place every Wednesday at 11:00 and 1:00 for our pre-school guests and their caregivers.


Water Bottle Bird Feeders

It hasn’t been an easy few weeks in several southern counties in West Virginia, especially for parents with young kids. If you’ve exhausted your store of activities and have a lot of water bottles hanging around, this activity just might help.

In the winter, we usually think of snow activities and cold weather fun and leave flowers, butterflies, and birds for the spring. But, the best time to put out bird feeders is actually in the winter when it is hardest for the birds to find food. With all this snow and extremely low temperatures, they need a little extra help!


Birdfeeder Supplies

Empty water bottles
Paint brushes
Sticks, Wooden Spoon, or pencils
Bird Seed

1. Cut a rectangular “window” into your bird feeder about two-three inches from Birdfeeder window cutthe bottom of the bottle.

2. Cut a small hole about a half an inch to an inch below the window. Cut a corresponding hole on the opposite side of the bottle. (Your stick will slide through both holes and act as a perch for the birds.)

3. Paint your future bird feeder!

Crystal Painting

4. Wrap twine or string around the neck of the bird feeder for hanging. (Tip: We chose to do two strings and tie them in loops on either side of the neck to provide greater stability.)

5. Insert stick or wooden spoon through the small holes to serve as a perch for your birds. (In a pinch we used pencils!)

6. Fill with birdseed.

7. Hang up and enjoy bird watching!

Want to get your kids even more engaged? See how many birds you can identify! If you don’t know what they are, you can head to the library to pick up a book or try West Virginia Conservation Agency’s website!


with the help of Faith (“Starry Night” bird feeder) and Crystal (with the WVU one. We’ll post it as soon as she finishes!)

Starry Night and Captain America Feed the Birds

The Story of Fish and Snail

Who doesn’t love a good story of pirate adventure, especially whThe Story of Fish and Snailen it’s told from a fish’s first-hand experience?  Snail sure loves fish’s stories, but on this particular day fish wants to SHOW snail the story.  It could be a scary venture to wonder outside the comfort of their book, so will snail join fish?

Join us for Wee Wednesday story time on Wednesday, January 22nd as we read The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman.   Listen as two friends feud it out to decide if SEEING the story is worth the risk!

Storytelling can take you on adventures without even having to leave your house!  Ask someone to share their favorite story with you today or maybe you could share your favorite story with someone.

Wee Wednesdays take place every Wednesday at 11:00 and 1:00 for our pre-school guests and their caregivers.


Borax Crystal Snowflake

Winter can be a fun season of playing in the snow and watching icicles form, but what do you do when the snow isn’t falling?  You make your own snowflakes!!IMG_0145

Check out how to make a crystal snowflake

This experiment uses Borax*, also known as sodium borate, which is a crystal in the form of a powder.  When you add these powder crystals to hot tap water they begin to dissolve.  Since the molecules in hot water are further apart than in cold water, more of the crystals are able to dissolve.  When the water molecules begin to cool, they squeeze closer together and are unable to hold as many of the crystals.  Eventually the crystals begin to attach to the fuzzy pipe cleaner and build on top of one another.  After a day or two, you can pull the pipe cleaner out of the borax solution to reveal a beautiful crystal snowflake.  *Borax is a laundry booster that can be found in most supermarkets.

What other crystals can you use to create a snowflake? 

Try sugar and maybe eat your snowflake once it has formed!

  How about salt? 

Share your crystal snowflake recipes with us!!

But Not the Hippopotamus

Will hippopotamus ever join in on the fun?  But Not the Hippo

In this funny tale, we watch as a hesitant hippo stands by while all of her animal friends have a rhyming, great time.  Eventually they invite her to join in, but will she do it?

Come find out when we read But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton during our January 15th Wee Wednesday story time.

Since this story is all about joining in on the fun, try out this animal joke on your friends.

Q: What do you call a messy hippo?

A: A Hippopota-mess!

Check out more animal jokes

Wee Wednesdays take place every Wednesday at 11:00 and 1:00 for our pre-school guests and their caregivers.