Who doesn’t love playing with snow? Whether it’s a full snowball fight or simply enjoying the texture of it, snow can be so much fun and with every flake being unique it’s interesting too. Sometimes though, whether in the depths of winter or during the bright summer months, there is just none to be seen. Whether wanting to have a play or set up a snowy scene for small world characters to enjoy, we have found a way to improvise and make ‘snow’ in our kitchen. The first time we did this we started by using a kit. They’re readily available online.
If you have a clean disposable nappy to hand though, you can also use our back up option though which works very well.
The middle of the nappy is made up of a superabsorbent polymer called sodium polyacrylate. The idea, of course, is that it will keep babies and toddlers dry for both comfort and for the prevention of nappy rash. When used to create ‘snow’ however the water is absorbed and converts into a fluffy, cool substance that can be moulded with too. It also expands slightly, meaning that the inside of one nappy could provide fun for all three of my boys. One each would have given them enough to create a small snow scene with carved out ‘igloos’ and even snowy mountains.
If you let it dry out, you can reuse it for future play fun. Or, pop it in your refrigerator to make it feel even colder and notice how long it holds the cooler temperature for.
What you will need for your experiment:
A (clean!) disposable nappy
- Carefully cut the nappy open (adult supervision required) and feel the cotton wool type material inside.
- Pour water onto it, a little at a time, until the water is fully absorbed.
- Break it apart, mould it, consider the difference the water has made to how it feels. You could keep some of the dry material to one side to observe the differences.
- To extend the play your child could take photos or draw pictures of their creations.
This is an excellent sensory play activity for small hands, and brilliant for small world play too. To keep things slightly more manageable (for you!) I would suggest using a tuff tray or baking tray to contain the snow. It makes it much easier to clean and tidy up when the play time has ended.
Little hands often find their way to little mouths – so do be sure to keep a close eye on children whilst having fun with this experiment.
If you enjoyed this, why not try out our indoor ‘fireworks‘!