Making Play Snow

Squishy woke up in a bit of a blue mood. Today is Friday, and we would normally be getting ready to go to adventure school with his friends. He asked me several times if we could go on an adventure today, and it hurt my heart that I had to say no. Then he asked me if we were going to see the giant Christmas Trees in the snow (the Giant Sequoia’s) and my heart about broke. It is one of my favorite wintertime adventures, too. So I decided I would bring the snow to Squishy today, since I can’t take him to the snow.

We were going to build a snow man!! Yes, Squishy and I spent the morning playing in the snow. Real Snow! How is this possible, when there is obviously no snow around us for miles, you might ask. We made our own. I am not talking about fake sensory snow (although we love that too). Today called for the real thing, or as close to the real thing as I can get in Central California. It is such an easy activity to set up, and entertains the boy for hours. Oh yeah, and it’s practically free.

Making your own snow our favorite wintertime activity

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If you have a Ninja or a comparable blender, dump a ton of ice cubes in there and chop them up to a shaved ice consistency. Squishy has a love hate relationship with this part. The sound drives him nuts, but he needs to push the buttons and watch the magic happen. Then dump your “snow” into a dollar store Baking Pan. Ta-Da you’ve just made snow. Now the beauty of this provocation is that you can customise it to almost any snow related activity. You can make delicious sugar shack treats, which is on my to-do list. Just heat up some Maple Syrup. (This is the recipe I have pinned Maple Syrup Candy on our Pinterest Board) You can make an arctic habitat. Or like us, you can make the very best snow men in the world.

We chose to do this snow activity outside because it was raining, and squishy needed some exposure to nature. It could easily be done indoors, though. We cuddled up first with a good book about snow men. Of course, Squishy referred to it as his instructions. Then I laid out some loose parts for him to build his creations.

Snowman provocation
I chose The Biggest Best SnowMan because I love the message it gives to little ones. Even if you are small you can do big things. No matter who says otherwise, you just have to try. There are tons of good snowman books like; the classic Frosty , The SnowmanJust a Snowman or Snowman’s Story . After the story Squishy got to work, matting and patting and batting small round circles. Just as the book has suggested.

Making a snowman with play snow

He then stood back and watched the rain melt his snowman. He thought that was the neatest thing of all. I really like that aspect of setting up these little trays for Squishy. He gets so much out of them, and his mind often takes it to places I never would have thought. For example, after he had let all the snow “melt” in the rain, he had a blast stomping in the slush. Then he says “mommy can we make blue snow?”

Of course we can make blue snow! We then brainstormed on the best way to make the snow turn blue. We could start with blue ice cubes, but that would take a long time to freeze. We could paint the ice, but it might make it “gloppy”. Spraying colored water on the white snow seemed to be the best idea.So we gave it a go.
Painting play snow blue
The only limit here is your child’s imagination. If they are anything like Squishy, that tends to be no limit at all. Here is a list of the things we used today, to give you a jumping off point.

Supplies:

Ice

Ninja

Baking Pan

Scraps of Fabric

Buttons

Thimble

Sticks

Small Pebbles

Feathers

Arctic Animals

Squirt Bottle

Food Coloring

 Small Construction Vehicles

*Tip: Raid your kids nature collection for more loose parts

We used up two loads of snow, and spent 3 hours playing in the rain. Nature play doesn’t have to be complicated.  It helps to think outside the box a little bit, though, when you can’t go on grand adventures or even around the block. I hope you found some inspiration to connect with nature from us here.


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