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Four sided First Step TM doilies are probably the patterns most people remember when the subject of making Christmas snowflakes arises. Like most everybody else, I really never gave snowflakes much of a thought, until I started researching for this Paper Snowflake web site.
The first thing that became apparent was the fact that no four sided snow flakes exist. Nope, not one single square can ever survive in the vast winter wasteland of the polygonal fracture pattern.
Oop, did I get too sciency just then? In plain words...snow flakes ain't square and can never be 8 sided either. 2, 3, 6 and 12 are the magic numbers to remember.
When you realize the sciency properties of the lowly ice crystal which is always in the hexagon shape you realize that it is not possible for any snowflake to grow from a 6 sided shape into a 4 sided shape.
Try this experiment with the kiddies: Cut out several hexagon shapes and several more square shapes. Hand out the squares to one group of children and the hexagons to another group. Tell both groups to make a hexagonal shaped snowflake. Do I really have to say the outcome?