A little taste of snow this year has little Portlanders hoping for more! Even if it doesn’t snow again, you and your kids can still make your own snowy crafts to while away the chilly Oregon days before school starts again.
This year’s snowpack in the Bull Run watershed is one way that Portland Water provides water year round. Snowpack happens as snow falls and is weighted down over time. As the weather warms, the snow melts and contributes cold water to Portland’s water supply. While the Bull Run watershed is primarily a rain-fed system, snowpack is always welcome.
Erupting Fake Snow
- 1 cup of baking soda
- Can of shaving cream/foam
- Pour your baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
- Add about 1/2 of the can of shaving cream. You can put in as much as you like until you have a good, powdery consistency.
- Add as much glitter as you like. Now give your mixture a good stir.
- At this point you should have a mixture that can be balled up like a snowball. Place your snow into a large container and pour your vinegar over the top to watch it foam up.
DIY Snow Globes
- Leftover jars from baby food, sauces or jams, or purchased jars from craft stores
- A little toy to put inside
- Glycerin (available at drug stores)
- Heavy Duty Glue (Gorilla glue, E6000, Epoxy, etc.)
- Put a little glue on the bottom of your toy. Place it on the lid of your jar and press it down a little to get it firmly in place. Let the glue dry for 10 minutes.
- Fill your jar with Bull Run water from your tap. Put one small squirt of glycerin in it (this is going to make your “snow” float better.) Add a pinch of glitter. Try to find a balance with the glitter: too much and your snow globe may appear hazy, too little and you won’t have enough snow.
- Hot glue the lid in place and shake it up!
Crystal Sun Catchers
Recommended for children 8+
- Epsom Salt
- Clear Recycled Plastic Lids -- use the clearest you can find, like the iced coffee or salsa lids found at restaurants
- Empty Jar
- Bowl or glass measuring cup
- Microwave (optional)
- Exacto knife/Pin
- Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to an empty glass jar.
- Add 1 cup of Bull Run water to a microwave safe bowl. Heat the water in the microwave for 45 seconds. Alternatively use very hot tap water and skip the microwave.
- Pour the water into the jar with the salt. Do this quickly so that the water is warm. Stir the salt and water for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the salt.
- Place several plastic lids on a flat-bottomed tray in a sunny location where they can remain undisturbed. The crystals are very fragile, so make as many as you can in case of accidents.
- Let the liquid in your jar cool a bit and then pour off some of the excess liquid from your jar into the recycled plastic lids. Use just enough to cover the bottom of the lid. Be careful not to overfill the lids.
- Place your lids in sunny location or under a warm lamp. Depending on how much liquid has been added it will take a few hours or a day to start crystallizing. At first the lid will look like it’s just full of water, but be patient!
- When the liquid has completely evaporated your crystal sun catcher is ready! You will be able to see lovely crystal structures from both side of the lid.
- VERY carefully poke a small hole in the edge of the lid and thread a piece of string through the hole. Tie in a knot and hang your sun catcher up!
Note: The sun catcher in the photo was freshly made. The salt that forms these crystals will eventually dry up and whiten, meaning that your crystals are only temporary.