Groovy Snowflakes

Illustration of a paper snowflake titled "Groovy Snowflakes"

Follow our step by step instructions to make a six pointed paper snowflake. Did you know? All snowflakes have six sides.

How does a snowflake form?

A snowflake starts off as a tiny droplet of water that freezes in the sky to create an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls, water molecules in the air stick to it, clump together and form snowflakes. Of course, the conditions have to be just right for snowflakes to form. The temperature has to be -35º C or lower for the water molecules to stick to each other or form around a dust or pollen particle.

Why do snowflakes have six sides?

When water freezes, its molecules form an open hexagonal shape. Therefore the molecules in ice crystals join to one another in a hexagonal structure. This arrangement allows water molecules (one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms) to form together in the most efficient way.

An illustration showing water molecules that are more random and ice molecules that form in a hexagonal shape.  This is why snowflakes have six points.
Water Molecules and Hexagonal Ice Molecules

How to Make a Paper Snowflake

Download these instructions by clicking here.

1. Start with a square.

Groovy Tip: Make a square out of a rectangular piece of paper by folding one corner down and aligning the sides of the paper to form an isosceles triangle (a triangle with at least two equal sides).

Illustration showing how to turn a rectangular sheet of paper into a square by folding diagonally and cutting off the bottom.
Illustration showing how to turn a rectangular sheet of paper into a square by folding diagonally and cutting off the bottom.

2. Fold corner to corner to form a triangle.

Illustration of a square with a dotted line diagonally through the center and an arrow showing how to fold it into a triangle.

Fold the paper on the diagonal and be sure to line up the edges and points so that your snowflake will be symmetrical.

3. Fold the triangle in half corner to corner.

Illustration of a triangle being folded in half to form a smaller triangle.

Again, fold diagonally and be sure to line up the edges and points.

4. Fold the triangle into thirds.

Illustration of a triangle with dashed lines indicating thirds.  There is an arrow from the right third indicating a fold over.
Illustration of a folded paper with an arrow on the left third indicating how to fold.

Try to make the thirds as even as possible. (Each third is a 30º angle.)

5. Flip the paper over.

Illustration showing to flip over your shape.

6. Cut off the bottom with a straight or curved line.

Illustration showing how to cut off the bottom to form the points of a snowflake.

Be sure to cut off all the excess edges. Cutting at an angle is what will form the six points of the snowflake.

7. Cut out shapes.

Three illustrations.  The first shows lines drawn to indicate where to cut out shapes.  The second shows those shapes cut.  The third shows the folded snowflake.

Be as creative as you like! Just be careful not to cut all the way across the snowflake. Use different sized shapes to create more intricate designs. To add a hole in the center, cut off the top tip. And to make it a star, cut it at an angle.

8. Unfold.

Illustration that shows an unfolded paper snowflake.

Carefully unfold your finished snowflake! If you’d like to flatten it, just stick it under a heavy book.

9. Now go make another one.

Create a whole flurry of groovy snowflakes!

For more challenging play during cold, winter snowy days, try a monthly-themed Groovy Lab in a Box.  There is no better way to educate your STEMists than to keep their minds working to create, design and solve, through the engineering design process and STEM-related activities. Our monthly box activates thinking, questioning, inquiring and original creation as we guide children through scientific inquiry and engineering design process.

You and your STEMists can can enjoy other origami activities within the “Pull Your Weight” groovy box. Explore different types of pulleys, simple and complex machines, Newton’s third law of motion, build an origami bucket and much, much, more! Each box contains an Engineering Design Challenge and is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Learn more about ice and matter with the “What’s the Matter” groovy box. Investigate the states of matter: gases, liquids and solids and learn about the unique properties of ice. Explore ice melt and overflow, ice breakers, ice fishing, fire and ice, groovy molds and design your own ice creation.

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