Some of our friends had six feet of snow in their backyards during the polar vortex.
Here in Florida, we experienced a gentle misting of ice coating our cars and grass. Good for me (I didn’t have to abandon my flip flops) but bad for my preschooler, who still remembers romping through the snow during our vacation last winter.
Solution: make our own snow.
I found the Erupting Snow Recipe at Growing a Jeweled Rose, and I thought it looked like a great idea: realistic play snow and a science experiment, too!
It was super simple to make, since it has only two ingredients. My daughter even helped me mix it.
You just empty some baking soda into a container (we used an old Tupperware) and mix in some shaving cream until you reach a consistency where it will form snow balls that don’t fall apart.
We used two small boxes of baking soda and what I believe was most of a can of shaving cream.
We mixed it with our hands, which is why my hand looks coated in the stuff in the top photo, but once it’s mixed, it doesn’t stick to your hand too much.
And we played with it on a disposable, plastic tablecloth, to contain the mess. And just vacuumed up any that spilled on the carpet.
Oh, and, incidentally, the girls decided that it was best to play in the snow while wearing their dress-up outfits. Just in case you were wondering about the frilly sleeves and skirts. :)
The snow is great for sensory play. My daughters both loved sinking their hands into it…
… and their feet.
And when they were tired of playing with it, I put the cover on the Tupperware and we set it aside for a few days.
Then we pulled it out again to perform our “science experiment.”
Since I often use baking soda and vinegar to clean my house, my girls had seen the fizzle they produce. But now they were going to use their snow to create it.
We made little snow balls, using our melon baller to measure them out, and then tossed them into a vat of white vinegar:
*fizzle, fizzle, bubble, pop*
It was a lot of fun, and a great way to incorporate discussions of the seasons into our sensory play.
And if you’re looking for more winter activities, you could try out our Crystal Snowmen!