A couple of days ago, we had approximately half an inch of snow accumulated on our deck and Theo was determined that we should go outside and build a snowman. Since there was most definitely not enough snow for that, we decided to make some snow “dough” to play with instead.
I found this recipe for baking soda snow and we set about making our own version of it. We’re at the point where I buy giant bags of baking soda to keep on hand for sensory play, so I hauled out my big old 12-lb. bag. We used 12 cups of baking soda to make this big bin of sensory snow.
After mixing it all up, he pulled out the Arctic animals we have in our stash of sensory bin toys. While he was playing with those guys in the snow, I rounded up a little tinker tray of things he could use to make a snowman. I filled the sections of a muffin tin with flannel strips, cinnamon sticks, black beans, pebbles, a bunch of wood pieces (small dowels, wood buttons, etc.), and some bottlebrush trees.
I didn’t bother freezing the snow after we mixed it, but it still felt almost exactly like real snow. It was cool and soft and packable. The only thing we found was that we weren’t able to give our snowman any arms, because sticking the dowels into our snow balls would make them crumble every time. In retrospect, freezing it for a little while probably would have helped hold it together better so our man could have his arms. Or maybe we needed to add a little more water. Either way, we still got a pretty cute snowman!
Two days later, the real snow outside is melting and by tomorrow it will be 50 degrees and seem like we never had any at all, but our inside snow is still going strong. We made it in a bin that no longer has a lid, so it hasn’t been getting covered up when we aren’t playing in it. And even though the top gets a little dry and crusty over night, all we have to do it mix it back up and we have snow again. When we got into it this morning, Theo decided we should add the glitter that we first left out, so now it’s all sparkly, too.