Winter is here and the snow is falling in a lot of the country. The cooler temperatures may mean that sessions must be inside. Why not build a snowman or play in snow inside while keeping warm? With a few easy to find ingredients, you can make snow with your students and use it within sessions for a variety of ways. Pretend to get your winter gear on to make it more fun and have fun playing in the snow with this sensory friendly activity.
Making it Snow Inside
While it is possible to buy instant snow to use in a session, kids will love making snow and using it for a variety of activities. Bring a giant plastic tub or see-through clear box to make into a sensory table snowmaking station. This could be done on the floor or at a table. Another suggestion is to put a blanket or giant towel underneath it to make clean up a bit easier. Snow likes to fly, even inside!
There are two main recipes for making snow which both use two ingredients. Both primarily have baking powder as the main ingredient. Then they differ by adding in either unscented shaving cream or white hair conditioner (to keep the snow color). There is no exact recipe. It’s best to add in the wet ingredient slowly until the snow has the proper consistency.
Building Snowmen and More
Once all of the snow is made, it’s time for play therapy. This sensory filled activity is perfect to use for a multitude of sessions. Small items can be hidden in the snow and found using fine motor practice. In addition to this, students working on speech and language goals may talk and describe what is found. Make a bingo card of hidden winter animals who will be found in the snow. Allow the group to work together to get bingo.
Winter animals also like to play in the snow. Rather than hide them, allow for group play to make up a story about the animals. This will help students with taking turns, group work, and social skills. For more hand-eye coordination play, include images of snow objects for kids to duplicate. Model how to make them and work together on steps needed for the finished object. If you have extra cars and trucks, they can dig out snow and work on cleaning roadways in the snowy imaginary land.
Send information home with students to make their own snow at home. This is a fun and easy activity that many families may enough for a cold day when they want to stay inside. Therapists should be sure to include translations for the snowmaking instructions so multilingual families will be able to participate. It is also a great time to include extended uses for the snow to work on goals and skills from sessions.