Winter Sensory Fun: Ice Sculptures & Snow

artificial snow in measuring cup

Winter brings with it many opportunities for sensory play. As they play outside (and in the classroom!), students can learn about temperature and the sensation of working with cold materials, as well as explore unique "building" materials appropriate to the season!

Colorful Ice Sculptures

Amanda Morgan - mother, educator, and early childhood consultant - provides instructions for creating colorful ice sculptures on her blog Not Just Cute. In this activity, students are invited to use ice pieces in various shapes and colors to create art. As they play, students will:

  • Learn about temperature
  • Explore changes in state (liquid to solid and solid to liquid)
  • Develop new vocabulary words (cold, frozen, melting, etc.)
  • Strengthen fine motor skills (building and demolition)
  • Observe what happens when colors mix (as the ice melts)
  • Observe the effect of salt on ice

For a complete learning experience, Morgan suggests letting "your kiddos in on all the action"; mixing colors, observing changes, experimenting with demolition, etc.

Colorful Snow

Who said snow was just for the outdoors? With Insta-Snow™ and other artificial snow brands, students can experiment with this winter building material inside the classroom! Students will love that the snow actually feels cold (due to constant evaporation - a great science lesson by the way!) and, with various toys, spoons and scoops, will love playing and building in this winter sensory bin. Fully reusable, the product will not melt. If it starts looking less 'fluffy' all you have to do is spritz it with some water! For some extra fun, you might consider adding a bit of food coloring or liquid watercolor paints to the product.