Sensorial Snow

As we’ve had some snow this week I thought we’d do some sensorial exploration with snow substitutes.

I used four substances to give the children four different textures to experiment with and experience.

1. Snow Dough
2. Snow Crumbs
3. Gloop
4. Shaving Foam

To Make Snow Dough and Snow Crumbs

This is a really easy dough to make. All you need is cornflour and lotion – I used a cheap hand and body lotion from my local supermarket.

Simply put 250g of cornflour into a bowl and squirt in around 200ml of lotion. Mix and kneed till you have a smooth dough. The more lotion you add the more doughy it becomes. You will have to judge when the consistency is right. Too much lotion and you’ll get something runny. This makes quite a crumbly dough but it can be rolled. It also feels quite cold to handle. I also added some iridescent flakes to give it a bit of sparkle.

For the snow crumbs I added about 100ml of lotion to 250g of cornflour which gives you a soft crumbly texture. This really does feel like freshly fallen, powdery snow. Again I added iridescent flakes for sparkle.

Gloop

I’m a big fan of gloop. It’s so simple yet weird. All you need is cornflour and water. I used two dessert spoons per bowl and then added some water until there was a runny consistency. Children can dip their hands in it and watch the mixture run over their hands, but it’s really hard and stiff if you press it. I gave the children craft sticks to stir the gloop. You can make a large tray of it and let the children run cars through the mixture and they can watch the car tracks slowly disappear.

Shaving Foam

This is a fun substance to use if you have children who don’t like getting their hands messy. It’s lovely and soft and they can hold it in their hands. It’s easy to wash off as well.

 

So What Did the Children Think?
Well they loved it. Some just went for the snow dough and really enjoyed making ‘cakes’ by sticking coloured matchsticks and transparent mosaic tiles into it. One little girl spent quite some time just breaking bits off and making a snake along the table then squidging the dough back together and starting again.

A very small girl tried eating the dough. Oh yuk! You should have seen her face – I don’t think she’ll do that again.

Some children really liked the snow crumbs and loved to squash it together to make a ‘snow ball’ then gently squeezing it, making it crumble. I thought that it would have been a great thing to use little diggers in but I couldn’t find any. But keep that in mind if you’re going to make this.

The gloop was as popular as ever with the children spending time just experiencing the texture and playing with the weirdness of it.

The children were quite cautious of the shaving foam but some found it funny. One little girl wanted to use it as cream to top her snow dough cake.

Some children made sure they had a go at everything – which was great to see. I will say this is a very messy activity – but hey, it’s only cornflour so it cleans up easily enough.

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