Lunar and Planetary Institute

States of Water: A Snow Mobile (Getting Started)

States of Water: A Snow Mobile (Getting Started)


To introduce the properties and states of water, children ages 8 to 13 prepare the materials for a mobile. As they undertake the activities in the module, the children discuss the questions posed by the mobile and questions or ideas they may have about ice, water, and water vapor. At the close of the module, they complete the mobile.

What's the Point?

  • Water can exist in different states solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (water vapor).
  • Water has many observable properties that vary depending upon its state.


For each child:

  • 1 set of raindrop, snowflake, and cloud mobile pieces, printed double sided on 8"1/2 x 11" cardstock
  • Thin marker or colored pen or pencil
  • Crayons, colored pencils, glitter, yarn, foil, tissue paper, stickers, and other craft items to decorate the mobile pieces
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Envelope with the child's name to store the mobile pieces

For the facilitator:


  • Make copies of the mobile pieces for each participant.
  • Plan to store each child's pieces individually in the child's envelope throughout the activities, as the children will update the information after many of the activities.


1. Distribute the sheets of mobile pieces. Have the children explore the following questions:

  • What are the questions or statements about? Water, ice, and water vapor.
  • How do the shapes relate to the questions or statements? The questions or statements on the raindrops explore water; the clouds, water vapor; and the snowflakes, ice.

2. Explain that they will discover the answers as they complete the activities, and that they will record their observations and other questions or discoveries they make - on the appropriate piece. Do they know the answers to any of the questions at this time? Do they have any questions or observations they would like to write on the blank pieces? Share that they will make a mobile using the pieces after they have learned more about water, ice, and water vapor.

3. Invite the children to cut out the raindrops, clouds, and snowflakes; they do not need to cut the edges exactly; they can cut an outline around the different pieces. Provide the children with the scissors, glue, and craft items and have them decorate their mobile pieces. Remind them to leave some space on the back sides for their own questions or discoveries.

4. After the mobile pieces are completed and the glue has dried, place the pieces in the envelope marked with the child's name.

In Conclusion

Share with the children that they will investigate ice to learn more about its properties.

Last Updated
September 29, 2009


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