We live in central Texas, and it doesn't snow here. When it does - once a decade, it's the gross kind of snow that's really mostly just ice that you can't actually play in. If it's pretty and fluffy - once a century, it melts upon ground contact. This year, my four year old has actually been praying for snow, the poor deprived thing.
Well, I took it upon myself to get creative, and boy have I found a real winner for you guys! I made "snow" out of corn starch and shaving cream (there are alternatives that I'll share). Yeah, it was that simple. Incredibly cheap, super soft, no cold, no mess (well maybe sometimes a little bit - but a vacuum cleaner solves that, easy peasy). My daughter absolutely adores Frozen. She has these little plastic figures of Elsa, Anna, Sven, Olaf, and a few others, and she played with them in her "snow" for two hours. Yes, you read that right, almost TWO HOURS. Boy did I have time to get loads of Christmas preparations done on that day!
On that note, I'd say that it's not only a winner for parents, but a winner for kids, too. I only wish I'd thought of it sooner, in time for my daughter's fourth birthday party which was of course, Frozen themed. She played in this outside, where she loved being able to stand in it and rub it all over herself. (We're still in the 70's for a large part of December.) But she also played in it inside at her little table and on the floor over a blanket or towel. She was able to build little snowmen and even had fun burying her little dolls and using a paintbrush to "discover" them and dig them up.
I planned on making snowballs with her when we were ready to get rid of it, and have a snowball fight in the backyard (and I'm actually pretty excited for that myself), but so far she hasn't lost a bit of interest in it, and plays with it at least twice a week. We've had it stored in a medium sized plastic container, nothing small enough for food, maybe more of a craft bucket, for over a month now. It's just as good and soft today as it was then! And if you're really brave, you can add some pretty glitter, too. :)
- 1 box of corn starch (16 oz.)
- 1 can of shaving cream (I used a women's since they don't smell as strongly)
- a container to fit your concoction
*Note* I actually quadrupled (or more) this 'recipe' so I needed a larger container. You can use as much corn starch and shaving cream as you want, to make as much as you want. I mean, technically you could buy bags of cornstarch and fill a kiddie pool with this stuff. How fun would that be!?
1. Simply mix your corn starch and shaving cream together, with your hands (or let your kiddos do it). It's that easy! You can get a feel for the consistency by trying to make a ball or snowman. If it falls apart, add more shaving cream.
- 1 box of corn starch
- 1/2 bottle of conditioner (about 10 oz.)
Mix these in the same way, and you'll definitely be able to build a snowman with this. While the corn starch and shaving cream stay together, you can't exactly go poking little sticks or carrot noses into them without them cracking at some point (or maybe not if you add more shaving cream?). But, the conditioner method is much messier and I'm not sure how long it will last.
- 1 box baking soda
- 1 can shaving cream
This one is for those of you who don't plan on storing this when play time is over. Simply mix your baking soda and shaving cream, and let your kiddos play away! When you're all done, (and I'd suggest doing this outside) let your child pour the vinegar over it and watch it "erupt"!
- 1 box corn starch
- 1 can shaving cream
- 1 'glob' of Elmer's glue
Mix all of these together and let your child build things out of them. Perhaps let them use little sand toy molds, placing the molded mixture onto a plate. This mixture will dry into a sort of hardened puff. Super cool!
Keep in mind that your child shouldn't be eating any of these mixtures, and they can potentially burn if they get into the eyes. My four year old has played in this "snow" 10+ times now, and hasn't once tried to eat it and even though she enjoys rubbing it onto her cheeks, and will brush her bangs out of her face and make her face look a little ghostly (easily wiped off with water and a paper towel or baby wipe), she's never complained of it getting into her eyes or it harming her in any way. Remember that if you have young children, supervision is important!
♥ Mother Bear