Snow has to be one of the best and most exciting sensory bases for play. Have you ever thought to scoop some up and bring it inside for a fun hands-on setup? It makes prep a breeze and is sure to engage your little ones. For this activity, we decided to use some snow from the yard to make pretend snow cones. It led to so much sensory exploration and engaging conversation.

Materials needed:

The Set Up

Grab a big bowl of snow from outside and set it up somewhere a little more warm and cozy. To prepare the colored water simply fill each test tube nearly all the way to the top and add two drops of each color food coloring. My 3 year old chose red, pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow. I asked her to help mix the color in, which she really enjoyed doing. We put the test tubes out along with the snow, droppers, fine motor tools, and bowls and cups. It is also a good idea to have a small towel on hand as it can get a little wet and messy.

How the Activity Works

My daughter has always loved sensory set-ups, and this one didn’t disappoint. She got straight to work scooping up the snow and transferring it to one of the bowls ready to make her first snow cone. She thought it was so fun that the Handy Scoopers and Squeezy Tweezers made perfect little snowballs!

As she added the scoops of snow she used the tools to mash up the snow a little and was constantly talking about what flavors she was going to add. She opted for lots of red for her first one and told me that it was going to be a very strawberry flavor! She used the Jumbo Eyedroppers to squirt the colored water onto the snow. I always love watching as the color spreads across the snow. She kept adding squirts of color until she was happy with her first yummy snow cone.

She enjoyed making many more, using the different sized cups and bowls. We added in some numeracy by counting how many scoops of snow and how many squirts of colored water were needed for each snow cone she made. We even speculated how much each one would cost to buy…her suggestion of $37 seemed a little steep!

After a while, she started to experiment with mixing the colors to make new ‘flavors’. The colors spread through the snow to make new colors which she thought was so cool to watch. She spent lots of time debating what these new flavors would be called!

Throughout this entire activity, she was working her fine motor skills hard, as well as building her sensory confidence. The snow offered such a unique sensory base and there was the added bonus that as time went on the snow started to melt which completely changed the consistency of her creations. By the end of the activity, she was enjoying a slushy rainbow mess… so much sensory fun! Do you ever bring snow inside for play? What are your favorite activities to use it for?