Looking for a fun indoor activity to entertain your kids this winter? Find out how to make fake snow for sensory play using two edible ingredients—and it will actually be cold to the touch!
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What is it about snow that’s so exciting for kids? Even though winter is the longest season for us Canadians, our kids never seem to get bored of it.
Of course, playing in the snow can pose a logistical challenge for us.
For one thing, our youngest is only 12 months old and still crawling. Since she can’t walk, winter isn’t quite as magical for her as it is for her sisters… She usually just ends up rolling around in the snow and fussing due to the cold.
There’s also the fact that getting four young kids into their snow gear can be quite a challenge. Getting everyone dressed sometimes takes almost as long as the actual playing… and it means that we have time for nothing else that morning.
For these reasons, we like to alternate between playing outdoors and doing indoor activities related to winter.
Sometimes, that can be as simple as scooping up some snow and placing it in a bin indoors for the kids to play with. They particularly enjoy “painting” the snow using liquid watercolour paint.
Other times, we like to experiment with homemade sensory materials—and this 2-ingredient fake snow is one of our favourites!
There are actually lots of ways to make homemade snow for sensory play at home, but we love that like real snow, this one is actually cold to the touch. Plus, it’s probably the easiest sensory recipe we’ve ever made since all it requires is mixing water with baking soda.
So if you’re looking for a fun indoor winter activity to make for your kids, this easy DIY sensory activity could be just what you’re looking for!
Related: 2-Ingredient Play Dough
How to Make Fake Snow with 2 Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own edible fake snow for sensory play:
- Baking soda
- Ice water (or very cold water)
Note: You can also add glitter, but if you do, your fake snow won’t be taste-safe, and it will be more difficult to clean up. As much as I love glitter, I don’t usually use any for this particular activity.
1. Freeze Baking Soda
Start by placing some baking soda in your freezer overnight. I like to keep a box of baking soda in our freezer at all times in case the kids feel like playing with fake snow.
I used an entire 500-gram box because I wanted the kids to have plenty of snow to play with. (For those of you in the U.S., I measured out the contents of the box and it came out to about 2 ¼ cups.)
Because the baking soda is dry, freezing it won’t actually change its texture. It will simply make it cold—which is perfect for setting up a winter sensory bin filled with fake snow!
2. Pour Baking Soda
Take the baking soda out of the freezer and pour it into a large plastic bin or container that your kids can use to play.
3. Add Water
Some fake snow recipes call for shaving cream, but we prefer to simply use water because it’s taste-safe and eco-friendly.
Once your container is filled with frozen baking soda, slowly pour in some ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a metal spoon between each addition.
Keep pouring until the fake snow reaches the consistency you want. I used about 5 tablespoons of water, but you can always add less or more depending on your preference.
And once the water is mixed in, you’ll have instant snow!
Because it was made from frozen baking soda and ice water, it will be cold to the touch just like real snow. And because it was made using edible ingredients, it’s also taste-safe, making it perfect for infants and toddlers who like to put things in their mouths.
(Though of course, preschool and kindergarten children will have lots of fun with it too!)
How to Play with Fake Snow
There are many ways to play with your homemade fake snow.
The most obvious way is to simply give it to your littles ones and let them explore. The texture will be similar to powdery snow, and they can have fun squishing it around in their hands and turning it into snowballs.
You can also try adding small plastic toys or figurines to create your own winter wonderland. Elsa and Anna from Frozen come to mind… but feel free to get creative and add anything else your child loves to play with. We used plastic dinosaurs!
We also decided had fun making a snowman! (You may need to add a little water for this if your fake snow is too powdery.)
In the spirit of keeping this activity taste-safe, we used sprinkles for the eyes and nose. But feel free to experiment with other materials if they work for you!
How to Store Fake Snow
How long does fake snow last? Since all you did was mix water and baking soda, it should keep for quite a while (assuming your little ones have clean hands when playing with it).
In order to keep it cold, I usually store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Storing it in the freezer will cause it to harden as the water freezes, but the fridge will keep the temperature cool without causing it to freeze.
If you don’t care about keeping it cool, just leave it in an airtight container on your kitchen counter (or wherever else you usually keep containers).
2-Ingredient Fake Snow
- 2 ¼ cups baking soda
- 5 tbsp ice water or as needed
- Leave baking soda in the freezer overnight.
- Pour the baking soda into a large container. Slowly pour in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a metal spoon between each addition, until the fake snow reaches the consistency you want.
- Use immediately. Store in an airtight container in the fridge when not in use.
Related Sensory Recipes
Love sensory play? Check out these taste-safe sensory activities that call for 3 ingredients or less:
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