Sunday, December 7, 2008

faux snow

Here in sunny Los Angeles, we don't have much if any opportunity for snow. If you are in an area where there is snow, chances are it is cold out there. So, why not set up this fun faux snow activity that allows for experimentation in science, math and art?

You will need:

*1 or more bars of Ivory soap
*1 roll of toilet paper
*a cheese grater, a plastic one will work fine
*a baking dish or foil roasting pan
*a medium sized bowl or container
*large measuring cup with warm water
*a splat mat or mess friendly zone to work in
*craft bits like pipe cleaners, felt, glitter, etc. optionalScrumdilly do it!

Set up your workspace. We used a plastic mat and a glass baking dish. Have all your materials at the ready so it flows nicely.

The first thing your kidlets will need to do is to grate up that bar of Ivory soap.. Ivory soap is soft and whipped so it works perfectly for this. . A glycerin soap may work but we haven;t tried it yet. Three year olds can easily do this activity. If you are worried about them hurting themselves on the grater, use a plastic one. You can of course grate the soap for them but that may take away a bit of the experimentation and process from them.Next, in a separate bowl, have your wee ones tear up some toilet paper. Your younger tots may have a fun time with this while the older kidlets do the grating. They can make tiny pieces or large pieces. It is all about the experimentation. Tearing the paper by hand uses the pincher grasp and allows for practice with fine motor skills. It's also fun! You can also simply tear up a few bits at a time and add them directly to your grated soap.Add some of the torn paper to the soap in the dish and pour a small amount of the warm water in.Mix it up! Ask your kidlets questions as they do this. What does it feel like? What happens as you mix? Do you need more water? More paper? More soap? Much like the salt dough science project, children will learn about balance, texture and consistency. If you are doing this as a homeschool project, bring in the math and graph it up. Have one group use less water, one group use more.If you can mix up a solid batch of faux snow. Less water, more soap and paper; you can sculpt with it and make mini snowmen. To form a "perfect" ball, gather a blob of the mixture and wrap a strip of toilet paper around it to help hold the shape. The water from the mixture will seep through and the paper will blend right in but keep the shape of the ball.

Add some pipe cleaner features or maybe a button or two or a pom-pon hat and you've made your own winter wonderland.This will keep for a few days. You can add more water to the sculpture to dissolve it and play some more. Add glitter for some pizazz or maybe a drop or two of food color to spice it all up. Word of the wise, DO NOT rinse this goo down your kitchen sink. Let it get all solid and put it into the trash. If you have inquisitive kidlets, they may want to try different types of paper. Tissue? Crepe? Phonebook pages? Have fun!


  1. awesome! I'll be trying this with my kiddos for sure!

    thanksfor the great idea, and hope you have a merry Christmas!!

  2. Fun idea! I wonder if it could be composted after it was done? Lots of paper but of course soap too... I've never thought about whether soap could be composted!!!

  3. Hi Lori Ann!

    Apparently you can compost ivory sopa!

    And, Happy Holidays to you Jes! Thank you for reading!

  4. Ah, dear ol' Captain Kangaroo...

  5. My son has been begging to see snow...this will be a fun alternative! Thanks for the idea.

  6. This looks like so much fun! I love this! I'll be linking.

  7. What a beautiful looking mess! This will be a fun thing to play when the cousins come over. Hmmm, I am curiously craving mashed potatoes now.

  8. what a sweet wintry craft. Thanks for sharing...never would of thought to rip up paper to bulk up the soap shreds.

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  9. What a super cute idea! Will definitely be trying this in the next day or two.