With winter weather outside we were using the snow as a prompt for our sensory play and art making today. It is probably too cold for very wee ones to spend much time outside this week so this is a nice way they can join in. As always, let them lead the exploration and show you what they are interested in.
For our sensory tray we made cornflour snow. This is a nice recipe as it is safe to taste and has an interesting texture. It can pack tightly into balls, or to build walls and domes in the sensory tray, but then it easily crumbles back up to be soft and fluffy again. It even makes the same crunchy sound as real snow. To mix it, use enough cornflour to fill a storage tray or baking tray (maybe a few boxes will be needed). Then drizzle in sunflower oil slowly, mixing as you go until the flour stops being powdery and fly away and starts to hold together. It usually takes about half a cup of oil for a box of cornflour. You can also use baby oil for whiter snow, but only if they are big enough not to try eating it.
We added a mixture of snowy animals like mammoths, penguins and polar bears to our snow as a prompt to play, or you could add spoons and scoopers, cups for making mini snow domes, or natural materials like bits of pine.
In our session the wee ones were enjoying getting right into the trays. Luckily it washes off easily and the oil leaves their skin nice and sfot!
For paintings we offered large blue rolls of paper (you could use any size) and trays of simple white paint. We had fluffy cotton balls for printing with, along side some sponges and stampers. The cotton balls are fun as they can explore the soft texture and see how it changes after adding paint. They can use it to stamp snow marks or throw them onto the paper for a splat. If you don’t have white paint, you can make a simple white paint with just cornflour and water heated and mixed to a paste. See the recipe here.