Snow Painting

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When nature turns the world white with snow, then it becomes one giant canvas for your toddler to paint! To wit, Veronika and I tested two methods to paint the snow today. I recommend using all-natural food coloring for this activity, since the “paint” will be left behind once the snow melts, although technically you can use liquid watercolors.

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First, I filled a spritz bottle with water and a generous amount of purple food coloring (a mix of red and blue). Veronika is still building up the strength to use the spritz bottle, so I helped her out to make neat purple “spray paint” splotches on the snow.

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The second method was easier for her little hands. Fill a container with water and drops of food coloring, then hand over a wide bristle paintbrush.

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All Veronika had to do was dip and paint! Soon we had a patio that was a vibrant mix of purple and green. As a note of caution, you may want to skip yellow for this particular project, since people tend to be leery of yellow snow!

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In sum, this was a novel and fun way to play with the world’s white canvas.

Ice Jewels

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The next time there’s snow in the forecast, make a batch of “jewels” ahead of time so you can delight your little ones with sparkly ice treasures!

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To make the jewels, simply freeze water in the compartments of an ice cube tray and add a bit of all-natural food coloring to each. I like to fill the compartments only about half way so the colors stay separate; otherwise you risk having them splash together and result in brown gems.

When Veronika and I headed out to the back patio to explore the recent snowfall, I popped the treasures out of the ice cube tray for her.

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These are so fun to arrange in pretty patterns, as we did on the rungs of her slide. Your kids might want to make patterns along tree branches, the edge of a walkway or patio, or even just on top of the snow.

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Veronika also loved that pretty pockets of color appeared in the snow wherever she tossed them in. Then you can dig up your buried gemstones and start all over.

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Snow Squishy Bag

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I’ve put together complicated sensory and squishy bags for Veronika before, but sometimes nature supplies you with all the materials you need! To wit, we had fresh puffy snow on the ground outside when we woke up this morning, so I simply dashed out, filled a bag with snow, and then sealed it shut. Instant sensory bag!

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Of course the first thing your toddler will discover with this particular bag is the temperature. “Brr, that’s cold!” Veronika said with surprise.

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And then she promptly placed her hands down again.

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You can squish the snow around in fun ways inside the plastic. Then Veronika requested purple snow. I hadn’t even thought to add color, but why not! We squirted in red and blue food coloring and then tested whether we could mash the snow around enough for the two colors to blend.

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And then of course the other fantastic thing about snow is that your toddler gets a quick STEM lesson on states of matter. It wasn’t long before the fluffy snow started to change…

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…into purple water, instead! This sensory bag is by its very nature (heh), short lived, but lots of fun.

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DIY Cups for Color Sorting

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Save up your empty non-dairy yogurt containers for a few days, and then you’ll have all the materials needed to make a color sorting game for your toddler!

I decided to stick with just three colors today (choosing the primary colors of blue, yellow, and red), instead of overwhelming Veronika with the full rainbow. It started out with some messy painting play, first painting each clean empty container with one color. Let dry completely.

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Once the containers were dry, they were ready for color sorting! We used a set of colored dominoes for this game, and Veronika could readily fill each one with the corresponding color domino. If you don’t have dominoes, try other small objects like pom poms or beads.

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But here’s the twist to this game; after the first round of proper sorting, we made it silly! I mixed up all the dominoes into the wrong colored cups, and challenged her to sort them back to where they belonged.

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She caught onto the humor of it, and laughed as she dumped the dominoes back and forth for a while, giggling that they were “trash”.

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Your toddler will end up with a big pile and can sort things back into their proper places once more.

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