Playing outside in the snow has undeniable benefits, but let's be real...not everyone loves to be out there in it- and that goes for both adults and kids! We can all relate to the experience of spending 20 minutes to get everyone ready to go out and then the actual playing lasting half that long. It can be frustrating, and I have been there time and time again in my 11 years of momming my three kids and countless years of teaching preschool. I'm not saying not to go out there and get the fresh air and sunshine when you can and for however long you can, but I am saying you can still play with snow even when the novelty of actually being outside in it wears off or if you simply don't have it in you to do it today.
Grab some cake pans/bowls of various sizes.
Fill them with snow. (You don't even have to go all the way outside to get it...just scoop from near your door like I did! Ha!)
Mix in about 1/4 cup of baking soda to each bowl.
Smoosh down the mixture in each bowl to compress it.
Stick the pans/bowls in the freezer or just back outside if you have it in you to have the air hurt your face again.
Once the mixture hardens again (about 30 mins) dump them out onto a tray.
Decorate with whatever you have. We happen to have lots and lots of pom poms and popsicle sticks in this house, so we used those!
Present the child with the snowman, a bowl of vinegar, and a pipette/medicine dropper if you have one. A spoon will work just as well, and we even ended up adding one ourselves in the end to extend the play!
Now it's time for you to go grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the gloriousness of self directed sensory play! Seriously, you will drink that coffee hot and you'll be so pleased that you'll ignore the fact that your child smells like a pickle for the rest of the day. I swear.
If you're smarter than me, you'll put a towel down under that tray to catch the overflow vinegar.
When they start to get bored, add some colored vinegar to extend the play!
The aftermath! My 3 year old decided that it was time to see what would happen if he pulled chunks off of the snowman and put them into the vinegar instead. And as always, I'll allow it. He played for a half an hour. My coffee was still hot when I took the last sip. He smelled only a little pickle-y the rest of the day. Wins all around.
Now go rent a Teaching Tote from your local specialist!