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Now you can play in the snow year-round, inside, no matter where you live.

It’s easy to make your own fake snow whenever you get the craving for winter play. All you need is one simple ingredient called sodium polyacrylate. This is a fine white powder that can absorb up to 300 times its mass in water. It makes a squishy, wet, white gel-like substance that is irresistible for little hands to squeeze. You can even refrigerate your fake snow to make it cold and more snow-like.

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Sodium Polyacrylate

It turns out that the magic substance in diapers that makes them…um….absorbent…is sodium polyacrylate.It This means there are two easy ways to make fake snow.

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  • Grab a clean diaper and use a pitcher or a water bottle to fill it up with water. You will be amazed at how much water one diaper can hold! Once it stops absorbing water use scissors to cut away the fabric lining. You will find handfuls of white snow-like gel that you can dump into a baking sheet, plastic tub, or bowl for winter sensory play.

*For easy clean up, dump your fake snow in the trash, NOT down the sink! I know from experience that fake snow is excellent at clogging drains.

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Fake Snow Applications

There are so many ways to use fake snow! Here are a few of our family’s favorites:

  • Use it in a winter sensory bin. You can add glitter and/or food coloring to the fake snow and then throw in some fun winter toys and cookie cutters for the kids to play with! This year we made a candy cane snow sensory bin that the kids loved.
  • Place a cup or two in a plastic baggie for mess-free sensory play. My daughter LOVED her baggie for days afterward.
  • Use baking soda and vinegar to make fizzy fake snow! This is one of my kids’ favorite scientific process art activities. Get the full instructions with pictures here.
  • Use fake snow as a science project! You can show how a diaper works or amaze everyone with how much water sodium polyacrylate can hold. Be scientific about it and show how many grams of water one gram of powder can absorb. (You’ll need a fine kitchen scale for this.)

What other ways have you played with fake snow? Let me know in the comments or post a picture to our Science Kiddo Community Facebook page!

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By | 2017-04-22T15:13:23+00:00 December 28th, 2015|Science, Sensory, Winter|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. kimberly January 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Love this fun fake snow idea! Featuring you on Natural Beach Living this week.

    • Crystal January 22, 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I’ll be sure to stop by 🙂

  2. Carol - My Bored Toddler January 14, 2016 at 3:57 am - Reply

    I’ve always wondered how to make this! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

  3. Annie Frances June 7, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

    My family loves to go to the slopes whenever there is snow. We love to do anything in the snow! I love the idea of making snow with my kids so they can learn the science behind it. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Wilma Parker December 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Two things:
    Is it non-toxic?
    How do you clean it off hands and the floor?

    • Crystal January 4, 2017 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      These are great questions! Yes, sodium polyacrylate is nontoxic, meaning it’s OK to touch. It’s in baby diapers after all! However, it is not safe to eat so if you have a child who tends to put everything in his or her mouth I would not do this activity.

      Clean up is actually really easy. It washes right off of hands without any slimy or sticky residue. I usually clean it off the floor with a wet paper towel. However, if you wait a few days for it to dry out you could just sweep it up. But again, if you have a baby or a pet that will eat it off the floor you’ll want to clean it up right away.

      Thanks for the questions!

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