HUNDREDS of parents from across York are getting a helping hand to prepare for awkward questions from inquisitive youngsters this winter.

The University of York’s Centre for Lifelong Learning is running a free session to help York parents with primary school-aged children answer tricky questions about the science behind winter weather.

The one-hour event will look at how to predict a white Christmas and how to keep things festive if the perfect wintery scene fails to materialise this year.

The session, which is supported by the Wellcome Trust, is offered at the Tang Hall Community Centre on Wednesday and the National Science Learning Centre on Thursday.

Lesley Booth, director of community relations and lifelong learning, said: “The session is designed for parents who would like to catch up on the science they may have missed at school or who struggle to find an answer to a question from a child naturally curious about the world around them.

“Our aim through these and similar sessions is to raise parents’ understanding of science as they support their children in their schoolwork.”

Alex Brown, from the university’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, is running the taster sessions, and will teach parents some simple experiments to try out with their children in the kitchen.

He is also running a longer, free course for parents starting in February.

The White Christmas taster session is at Tang Hall Community Centre, Fifth Avenue, York, on Wednesday from 9.30am to 10.30am, and at the National Science Learning Centre, on the University of York campus, on Thursday from 10am to 11am.

To sign up for the free session, email or phone the Centre for Lifelong Learning on 01904 328478.

• Some of the questions youngsters might ask:

“Why is the sky blue?”

“Why don’t clouds fall from the sky?”

“Why do rubber balls bounce?”

“Why does ice float?”