Create your own sensory snow at home
Discovery Place Science
With winter now upon us, everyone starts hoping for snow.
When temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celsius), snow becomes a possibility, but only under the right set of conditions.
When it becomes this cold and the atmosphere is very humid, ice crystals will typically form in clouds. When the crystals become too heavy, they fall and bond together, creating snowflakes that sometimes even blanket the cold ground where they land.
Seeing snow in Charlotte may be a relatively rare occurrence these days, but with this activity, children can have the chance to play in the snow even if it isn’t falling from the sky!
You can create your own sensory snow at home using household items such as hair conditioner, lotion, baking soda, shaving cream foam or cornstarch. When you combine some of these items, new bonds will be created that imitate a similar structure to the ice crystals that turn to real snow.
Play with different recipes to create the perfect consistency of sensory snow for building a snowman or snowballs. You will be surprised to see which combinations have the same look and feel of real snow! For an added wintry effect, add glitter or peppermint oil to your mixture. You can even try putting it in the freezer to give it the cold sensation of snow.
This activity is great for elementary school students, but just about anyone can find joy in creating this snow! It will take about 5-10 minutes to prepare for the activity and another 15-30 minutes of learning time.
- Baking soda
- White hair conditioner
- Foam shaving cream
- Corn starch.
- Optional additions: Peppermint essential oil, glitter, cookie cutters, melon ballers
Note: You do not need all of these ingredients to make one batch of snow. Below, you will find multiple recipes utilizing different combinations of the above ingredients. All of the recipes turn out pretty similar visually.
Baking soda and shaving cream recipe –
- Measure 2 cups of baking soda and place it in your tray.
- Add a generous squirt of shaving cream to the baking soda and knead with your hands. Add one or two additional squirts of shaving cream, kneading in between squirts, to create a fluffy consistency that is great for packing snow. If you prefer your snow to have a powdery consistency, use less shaving cream. Avoid using too much shaving cream or your snow will crumble when you try to pack it.
Baking soda and conditioner recipe –
- Start with 1/2 cup of conditioner and place it in your tray.
- Use a fork to stir in about 3 cups of baking soda. This snow packs very well and is great for making snowballs and snowmen!
Cornstarch and lotion recipe –
- Measure 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of lotion. This mixture will tend to be a bit crumbly, but will pack well.
- If you prefer a more powdery snow, add ½ cup more of cornstarch and slowly mix with your hands or a fork.
For any of these recipes, you can add glitter or peppermint essential oil if you would like to give your snow an extra “wintry” sensation. Plus, chill it in the fridge or freezer before playing with it to add an extra cold touch.