Snow! Snow! Snow! Nothing brightens up a gray, dreary day better than crisp, white, crunchy snow — a gift to an otherwise overcast blah, Winter day. If there’s no chance of snow, you can make your own snow out of ordinary computer paper. Check out these patterns. Soon, you will definitely be generating some white stuff floating all over the INSIDE of your house. ( I throw a tablecloth on the floor, and we sit on the tablecloth, and go to town. So to speak.)
The art of making snowflakes helps children learn math symmetry, and sacred geometry, as all snowflakes are hexagons, with six equal sides and six equal interior angles. Also, cutting your own snowflakes teaches kids about snowflake classification.
If you haven’t discovered Snowflake Bentley (a Caldecott Medal Book), now’s the time. Wilson Bentley was a Vermont farm boy who was mesmerized by snowflakes, acquired a microscope with a camera, and spent his entire life photographing snowflakes. His exquisite images are still used in nature photography today.
I have step-by-step instructions on how to make a six-sided snowflake below, but there’s even a YouTube Video here, and here, on how to make a snowflake. And here’s how to Make German Stars. The best way, however, is to print your own patterns from cool websites like Ben & Jerry’s patterns (yes, the ice cream guys) for snowflakes, or these patterns here, Enchanted Learning, and other Paper Snowflake patterns. Here are the instructions on how to make a 3-dimensional snowflake, with a video for the 3D snowflake here.
Here are the snowflake instructions from WikiHow:
- Using computer paper, 8 1/2 x 11 size, cut off an inch from the bottom of the sheet to make it an 8 1/2 by 10″ sheet.
- Fold in half – join the two 8 1/2 inch sides together at the top so you end up with an 8 1/2 x 5 rectangle.
- Hold the the folded side of the paper in your left hand, holding it upright.
- Hold the middle of the fold. Open up the right side of the paper and push the fold the opposite way toward the left side of the paper, so that you’re inverting the fold, and pushing the right sides fold into the left side of the folded paper.
- You need to stop pushing about 1/3 of the way into the other side.
- You’ll start to see that a triangle is forming. Actually, the right side will start to look like two triangular wings. Press those folds down.
- Once you see that you have the right-side triangles, take the rest of the left side and fold it up as you did the right side. The bottom fold will go up to meet the right folds of the two wings.
- This should result in a perfectly aligned triangle – the sides should all match, the point should be down and the top should have jagged points from the corners of the paper.
- To make the six-sided snowflake, take the triangle of paper and fold it in half so you get a thinner triangle. The point will still be the same point, just of a skinnier triangle.
- Now the fun part — it’s time to cut the design of your snowflake. Cut along the edge of the triangle that has multiple folds showing (not the jagged top, not the single-fold side).
- Make sure you start cutting far enough down the side for your design to show on each snowflake prong. You’ll see the lowest part of the paper folds when you look at the side you’re supposed to cut on. It’s probably 1 1/2 to 2 inches from the top.
- Start by cutting a very simple pattern – try a diamond shape at the end. Make a short cut down diagonally away from the edge, a second cut back toward the edge but not completely (say 1/4″ from edge). Then cut a straight line down parallel to the edge to about 1/2″ from point. Then cut down diagonally, completely across.
- Unfolding takes some patience, but you’ll have your first six-sided snowflake.