Wintertime Sensory Activity

Many of my fellow New Englanders are stuck in the house today what with #snowpocalypse bearing down on us. I, for one, have loved every minute of it because my husband got to stay home from work today and I have sort of legitimate reason to wear pajamas all day. Some of the other moms might feel differently, what with having bored and restless kids who are in need of something to occupy them while the moms watch TV catch up on housework.

Going outside would be the obvious choice, but not always the most appealing option. Last time we took Chase out in the snow, it went a little like this:

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This transpired over the course of 13 seconds and then we were hauling him back inside to undo the 20 minutes of overly optimistic snow-gear outfitting.

Still, I figured he would enjoy the snow in A) a warmer setting and B) one where his extremities could move freely, so I decided to bring the snow inside…

…ta-da! Snow in the sensory table!

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If you don’t have a sensory table (we were fortunate enough to get ours for Christmas from my parents,) you can use a laundry basket or a large storage tub like this one, sold at stores like Walmart or Target.

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There are so many cool things you can do with snow sensory play, especially if your kids are a little bit older than my son (11 months.) Here we used a squirt bottle of hot water with a few drops of blue and green food coloring to add some color to the snow and show how it melts when hot water is squirted on it. You can do the same thing with medicine droppers, pipettes or a baster. Older children can do the squirting on their own.

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If you have sand toys leftover from the summer, let your kids use shovels and pails to play in the snow. We didn’t have any of those on hand, so we used our trusty old yogurt and pudding containers, plus some plastic spoons that Chase inexplicably loves. Older kids can make snowballs or mini snowmen, add their favorite figurines, Barbies, etc. to “play” in the snow, make handprints, eat it…

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The sky is the limit with this activity, plus it costs basically nothing to do and you have everything on hand (assuming you’ve got snow where you are.)

At the end of the activity, feel free to pretend you’ve been out braving the cold all day and deserve a hot chocolate or a nice big adult beverage. You earned it.

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Melissa Mowry

Melissa Mowry is a stay at home mom to 3 year old Chase and the slightly younger guy, Sam. She is the main voice behind One Mother to Another, which she started in July 2014 as a way to connect with other moms who felt just as lonely as she did some days. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Adam, and they live in their home state of Rhode Island. Melissa's work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Coffee + Crumbs and Mamapedia, among others. Her book, One Mother to Another: This Is Just Between Us is for sale on Amazon.
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