This year we planned loads of new sensory experiences for a toddler and today was another new sensory play set-up prepared for her! It is our first time playing with snow dough as we explored arctic animals in their small world.
We combined learning about animals living on the Arctic with sensory play with snow dough and it was all great fun!
As you can see by the picture, we didn’t have Arctic animal figurines so we had to get a bit creative. But more about it later!
HOW TO MAKE TODDLER SAFE, EDIBLE SNOW DOUGH?
If your toddler has a thing about tasting everything, you might consider trying our taste safe snow dough recipe. To create snow dough, you will need only 2 ingredients:
- corn starch (2 cups)
- vegetable oil (1/2 cups)
To create snow dough, simply mix in vegetable oil with corn starch. You should be able to form little snowballs from dough.
Treat with caution:
My toddler usually doesn’t put things in her mouth, but there is always a chance for something like that to happen so I decided not to risk with baby oil. This snow dough recipe is taste safe and as such, it is edible. It means, if your toddler tastes it, there will not be any negative consequences. Still, this is not food! If you know your toddler might eat the dough, keep a close watch. They will probably give up once they try eating it because, truthfully, snow dough is not very tasty.
If you have a preschooler or older child, you can safely substitute vegetable oil with the same quantity of baby oil. And even add some glitter powder.
HOW TO SET UP ARCTIC ANIMALS SMALL WORLD?
What we used to set up arctic small world:
I used a larger shoe box and a piece of thin styrofoam (the type you use for house isolation). What I realised later is that cardboard becomes wet from cloud dough so I would recommend switching to plastic container.
Cut styrofoam to the size to fit the bottom of your container, and add another pick to the back side for a background.
Use remaining styrofoam pieces to create few levels around the frozen part (created using aluminium foil).
As I mentioned, we didn’t have any Arctic animal figurines so we created our own figurines using recycled corks and cute cartoon Arctic animals from a printable pack found on TpT site, created by Educlips.
Our Arctic animal figurines are created in this way: we printed Arctic animals, laminated them and used cork for a stand (cut in half and then made a slid in the middle). This is pretty much a way you can make any animal figurines in case you don’t have them already. Cheap and hand-on method!
HOW TO PLAY WITH ARCTIC ANIMALS?
My toddler enjoyed moving around Arctic animals in snow. She enjoyed picking up snow dough and pretendending it’s snowing all over little animals. There was lots of pretend play involved as it appears that some animals love to hunt others!
Part of the setup with kitchen foil was an ice and all of the arctic animals enjoyed ice skating.
We learned many new words, including arctic animal names (some of them sound really funny the way she pronounces them!).
Overall, first contact with snow dough went great! The box is still around because I learned in the past that my toddler loves to play with new things few days in a roll and explore all the ways she can play.
EXTEND THE PLAY – READ ABOUT ARCTIC ANIMALS
Hello World! Arctic Animals is book told in clear and easy terms, featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, It makes learning fun for young children! Each page offers helpful prompts for engaging with your child. It’s a perfect way to bring science and nature into the busy world of a toddler, where learning never stops. Find the book here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
He has big antlers, runs fast on hoofed feet, and likes to eat plants. Who’s that? Is it a polar bear? A seal? No—it’s a reindeer! Children will love guessing which arctic animal they’ll find beneath the flap, including a walrus, fox, and snowy owl. A final spread features all the creatures included in the book having a polar party. Find the book here: United States | Canada | United Kingom
WHAT CAN YOUR TODDLER PLAY NEXT?
If you are looking for winter themed activities, you can try art activities like making a salty snowman or snowflake painting. For fine motor practice, we suggest sewing mittens and washi tape snowflakes. When it comes to sensory, we share many sensory play ideas with ice you can try. You can also prepare few winter busy bags for quiet time where toddlers can play on their own. Happy playtime!