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Making Snowmen inside! Say it with me, "Do you wanna build a snowman?"

Making Snowmen… Inside!

You know how we love a good messy sensory art project here at MPMK. So far we’ve tackled DIY finger paint, Jell-O Play Dough, DIY body Paint, and even Dr. Seuss’ Oobleck.  So what’s next? Why, indoor snowmen of course! Kaley’s here today sharing with us…

I always think of sledding and building snowmen as the quintessential wintertime activities. Unfortunately, we don’t live anywhere near snow. I didn’t want to rob my little one of all that winter fun, so I had to get a little creative.

With a few boxes of cornstarch and some shaving cream, we made snowmen from the comfort (and warmth) of our living room. Now I just need to find a way to take her sledding in San Francisco.

To make indoor snowmen, you will need:

  • 2 boxes of cornstarch
  • a can of foaming shaving cream
  • a box or plastic container
  • a sheet or tarp or even newspaper
  • any random materials you have around your house

Indoorsnowman2

1. Empty 2 boxes of cornstarch into a box, plastic container, tub, or any other container you have lying around. I used an old gift box with a lid. A lid comes in handy if you want to be able to keep your “snow” to use another day.

Indoorsnowman3

2. Add the shaving cream to your cornstarch. I used almost the whole can.

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3. Gather together random odds and ends from around the house that can be used to play with the snow. I grabbed a few handfuls of objects from our Treasure Box. Use your imagination here, you could use leaves, twigs and other objects from the yard, you could use beans, pasta, and other dried foods, or even candy. (As long as the kids don’t try to eat it!)

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4. Let the little ones mix the cornstarch and shaving cream together until it forms a crumbly powder that sticks together if you form it into a ball. If it won’t stick together, just add a little more shaving cream.

Indoorsnowman6

5. They can use any of the objects you have rounded up to explore their “snow” and build whatever they can imagine.

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When I mentioned to my daughter that we could make snowmen with our “snow”, she started making a flat snowman using the objects I had gathered for her. After doing that for a while, she realized she could form the “snow” into balls for a 3-D snowman. That is when it really got fun.

Sensory play idea - make snowmen inside!

During nap time, I may have hijacked her snow to make my own little snowman. I kept choosing different outfits for him, it was so fun.

Indoorsnowman9

When the kids (or you) are all done playing with the “snow”, most of the mess should be contained on the sheet. The clean up is super easy.

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Simply put the building materials in with the snow, and put the lid on the box. Shake the sheet off outside (or over the garbage can) and you are done.

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The “snow” will keep indefinitely, and is great when the kids need something to do, or you need a little quiet time. My daughter played with this for hours the first day, and has asked to play with it almost every day since we made it. Four weeks in and it is still just as good as the first day we made it.

 

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Kaley is a photographer who spends her days starting lots of projects and finishing few of them. She lives in San Francisco with her awesomely creative daughter and her amazingly understanding husband.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghann January 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

What is “foaming shaving cream”? Like not the gel kind?

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mpmk January 22, 2013 at 1:57 am

Hi Meghann,

That’s correct, you don’t want the gel but the old timey white stuff instead.

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Catherine(Momma's Fun World) January 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Saw this on pinterest so I wanted to check it out. If you loved this sensory play you have to do it next time with baking soda and hair conditioner. It feels just like snow, cool, damp and even molds. I mixed that up for snow sensory for my kids. Here is the link.
http://mommasfunworld.blogspot.com/2013/01/fake-sensory-snow-that-feels-real.html

Like you site new follower!!

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Renata January 22, 2013 at 5:38 am

And how much is the box of cornstarch? I guess they differ country from country…

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Natalie January 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

They are usually less than $2.

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Renata January 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I ment the size or the quantity… :)

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Natalie January 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Tried this today, thanks for the idea! We used the 16 oz containers of cornstarch and the whole shaving cream can, but I think it would have been a better consistency using the 12 oz containers? It was a bit too powdery, but the kids enjoyed it. We could make a snow ball, but it fell apart very fast.

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Georgie January 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm

We tried this today. My son loved it, thanks for the great idea

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Lisha January 23, 2013 at 7:45 am

Hi there, all the way from the Middle East! :-)

We don’t get snow here at all – and I think this is a fantastic idea to try with my boys (aged 7 and 1 1/2). If it works, I will also surely share it with my fans on my upcoming parenting page on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ConsciousParentingApproach, where we exchange little tidbits and tips on parenting, motivational/inspirational/fun quotes and photos – inviting you to stop by and say Hello!!

Thank you once again!

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Deborah January 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

This might be a silly question, but do you think I could make this and store it in some sort of rubbermaid thing… and mail it? I want to “send snow” from Nebraska to some friends in California as part of a birthday gift. Yes? No?

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mpmk January 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Honestly, I have no idea – but it’s a rad idea.

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Deboarh January 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I’ll test it out and let you know! :)

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Carol Creek January 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I am sorry to report this but my niece and her 2 kids all had severe reactions on their hands after mixing this and building their snowmen. Very very red and swollen and hurtful. She used a sensitive skin shaving cream and regular cornstarch. Any comments?

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Karissa January 27, 2013 at 3:16 am

Hi Carol, I work in child care and things like shaving foam painting are popular activities but unfortunately over the years I have seen several children react badly to shaving foam. Especially if they happen to get it on their lips etc (red, swollen). shaving foam definitely needs to be used with caution, and perhaps a “spot test” on the skin is not a bad idea before doing this sort of activity. It looks like a great idea though, in the absence of any bad reactions :).

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Sharon December 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

So glad for the heads up about reactions. My daughter has eczema and I definitely wouldn’t want to try this with her after hearing about skin reactions. She has a wheat allergy and corn starch can have wheat in it, so I totally would have thought she was reacting to corn starch, never would’ve dawned on me that it could be a reaction from shaving cream.

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Harmony January 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Love this idea! I buy cornstarch in bulk. How many cups would each box be? Thanks!!

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Georgina @ Craftulate January 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I just love this idea – and it keeps indefinitely too! Thanks!

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EH February 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Way too powdery…maybe start with one box of corn starch and add shaving cream? I used old fashioned shaving cream but the mixture wasn’t sticky enough to really make anything out of it.

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R Clark February 8, 2013 at 8:29 am

How much cornstarch is in a “box”? I have different containers and need to know a more exact measurement!!

Thanks!

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Cristina November 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

I tried it out, it was great. The texture amazing, but I found that it dried out very fast and became powder again. And If I then put more shaving cream into the mixture it became lumpy. Any suggestions?

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mell December 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Love this idea. We get snow here in WI, but sometimes to cold for outside. Another idea for our sensory table. Thanks.

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Samantha January 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm

My 5 year old and I just made a batch using one 16 oz. box of corn starch and one can of Barbasol Original. It’s below zero outside, but snow fun inside! We used measuring cups, an ice cream scoop, pasta and plastic gems. However, this is a messy project.

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Steph (MPMK Founder) January 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm

So glad you tried it Samantha!

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Andrea January 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm

We have done a similar project with flour and enough baby oil to make it mold. Didn’t have any reactions that I know of .

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Amy Senter January 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Great idea! I wanted to let you know that I included your link on my blog if you want to check it out: http://amyroachsenter.blogspot.com/2014/01/january-10-indoor-activities.html#more

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Linda February 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

This also works great using baking soda and shaving cream. It actually even feels cool to the touch! Fun stuff!

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Theres Just One Mommy March 2, 2014 at 10:12 am

Love how the snowmen turned out! Such a great activity for a cold snowy day!

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Direct current June 12, 2014 at 12:16 am

Hi, loved the snowmen, will use with my Girl Guides (like Girl Scouts). For sledding with no snow I came up with this idea about 35years ago when I hadn’t been in Australia for too long. Get large ice blocks, we get them here from ice works. They are usually used for large parties to keep drinks cold, they are placed in the bottom of plastic crates and the drinks put on top. The ones I get are about 18″X24″. Attach rope to narrow end of ice block and place a burlap bag on top so your bottom doesn’t get TOO wet. Take to the top of a grassy hill, damp or wet grass works best, sit on, slide down, repeat. I’m getting about 10 or 12 for my guides and they love it, we call it ice blocking. Consider safety, my girls wear long pants & shirts and bike helmets. I also make sure they aren’t sliding onto a road or into a river and it’s best to start with gentle slopes and work up. Have fun!

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