Jan 14, 2014

Snow Dough Arctic Sensory Play

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I have wanted to try snow dough with Kingston for a long time. Snow dough is such a fun sensory medium; it forms into a solid when packed and crumbles into powder when crushed. There are so many different versions of snow dough, but I wanted to make a version that was taste safe in case K tried to eat any. To make mine, I used 2 cups of corn starch (or corn flour) and a 1/2 of sunflower oil. Because of the sunflower oil, my snow dough turned out a little bit beige, but I felt confident that if it was tasted, it would be safe (albeit not tasty!)

My sister bought Kingston this awesome Animal Planet Polar Playset awhile back, and I have been waiting to give it to him until we did this activity. This set is so versatile! There is a variety of animals in this set, some of which live in the Arctic near the North Pole such as polar bears, and some that live in the Antarctic near the South Pole like the penguins. Because I was doing this activity with toddlers and my goal was to introduce them to as many new polar animals as possible as well as a new sensory material, I felt comfortable putting all of the different animals together in one activity! As Kingston gets older, I will make sure to distinguish where different polar animals live. 

In the setup, we had polar bears, their tasty friends the penguins, a seal, some arctic explorer folk, and a little whale in a baby bowl pool of water. K had his friend Livvy over to join in the Arctic fun! Before we started playing, we read Animal Babies in Polar Lands and A Home for Polar Bear: Where Animals Live. These two books were a great Toddler-fied introduction to what was to come! 

I set up the splat mat and sat the tots down in front of the sensory tub. They were both immediately excited and scanned the small world to see what they wanted to attack first. The whale and the water was the first thing they went for of course!

They both enjoyed splashing in the water and moving the whale around. Livvy explored the snow dough next and her face says it all. She basically wanted to say "Ick get it off!"

And if that wasn't a dire enough situation, it soon turned tragic as my child attempted to drown the poor arctic explorer in the water. RIP little arctic man. 

Then Liv came in with the kill, as the whale squashed whatever life he had left in his poor little plastic body. 

They both got over the loss of their pretend friend fairly quickly and moved on to some serious animal exploration. I went over each animal with them as they held them up. I was proud of them for sharing so nicely with each other! 

During the animal exploration process, the little blue whale habitat was dumped and the snow dough started to get really interesting. Part of it became a nice wet oobleck-type dough and the two of them had a blast splashing the different animals in it!

Kingston started playing with the snow dough at this point, and had the same reviews of it as Liv did! 

Before they could finish, poor little Arctic man's girlfriend met quite a similar demise as he in the oobleck pool. 

All in all, I was thrilled with the amount of interaction this sensory bin got! AND it wasn't even messy! There was hardly anything on the splat mat to clean up. The toddlers had a blast with the arctic animals and we played with this several times over the next couple of days! We are definitely going to try snow dough (or its un-cold twin cloud dough) again and again.

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  1. We are also studying the Artic and made snow dough this week! I love the idea of a little pool for the whale to swim in! We put our snow dough in the freezer for a bit to make it chilly, really fun!

    1. Thank you Mommy Sarah! I love the idea of putting the dough in the freezer! :)