Our Crazy Snow Test Tubes are a great way to be amazed by the wonders of Chemistry and polymers. They will amaze your little scientist by absorbing water and expanding 600X – 800X its original size.



Materials Needed

  • Crazy Snow Test Tube
  • Container of water
  • Pipette or eye dropper
  • Food colouring
  • 2 x Small containers





  • The Crazy Snow is a chemical and should NOT be eaten.
  • Adult supervision is needed at all times.
  • Clean up any powder that spills on furniture or floor
  • Keep away from young children and pets.
  • The chemical Safety Information is in the test tube but also available here.



  • Instant-Blizzard-step1Place a small amount of the chemical in your hand.


You can place more in a cup.



Instant-Blizzard-step 2Instant-Blizzard-step 3



  • Instant Blizzard step 4The snow absorbs the water and expands.
  • Touch it with your other fingers and you will notice that it is DRY.


Very cool and seem like …… Magic (but it is science in action)


Check out the ‘Wacky Science’ video of this experiment and ‘What’s Going On’ series link. They are currently ‘In Production’, so check back soon…..

Wacky Science Ep

What's Going On?



This Crazy Snow is made from a chemical called Sodium polyacrylate. Which is a polymer made up of many repeating units. (LIke a chain of beads).

The long chains are wrapped together like a ball of wool with crosslinks between the strands. A small section of this is shown below on the left. The green band is the crosslink, holding the chain together.

Crazy Snow structure1


Na is the chemical symbol for the element Sodium. Sodium is part of the common chemical we know as table salt (sodium chloride). Just like salt breaks apart when it goes into water (called dissolving), the Sodium atoms (orange circles above) also break away from the polymer chain.

The sodium stay near the chain and attract water. The water move around these areas and cause the polymer to swell. Crazy snow powder expands up to 800 X its size when wet.


This is similar to the baby nappies, water absorbing toys (see our new Expanda-Crocsâ„¢ Test Tube), soil cystals, Ghost Brains Test Tubes and even chemical spill kits.

If you would like

– more details,

– pictures of the second half of the experiment

– information on how to investigate this further

– links to everyday examples

– management hints & teaching pointers (5P Teacher develpoment program)

 ….. then why not subscribe to one of the following


(1) Crazy science Club

Crazy Science Club slider5

(2) 5P Teacher Training course called ‘Looney Lab  Classroom Creations

Looney Lab Classroom Creations2

Or you can purchase the ‘Bright Sparkes Guide’ of this demonstration only ($2.50) which has:

    • HD pictures of experiment steps
    • Detailed explanation of science
    • Mini-challenge section (another experiment)
    • Making it a ‘Scientific Method’ experience
    • Graphing opportunities
    • REAL links and descriptions to everyday examples of concept.