We took our winter sensory bin to a whole new level! After Belinda shared with us her huge success with her winter sensory bin I thought we needed to give it a try. To keep it mess free, I thought we would put this winter sensory bin right in the bathtub.
Bringing the snow inside was a very appealing idea since it was -22 outside (which is the same as -7 for my American Fahrenheit friends).
We set up a line full of workers: Mama outside scooping the snow into a bucket (because she couldn’t convince anyone else to do it), big brother number one grabbing that bucket and running it (exactly halfway) up the stairs, big brother number two (complaining it wasn’t exactly halfway) dumping it into the tub and returning the empty bucket back to brother, all while little Ms Norah squealed with joy at the excitement of snow being brought inside!
My intent was to really fill that bathtub with snow, but due to the crazy temperatures and my desire to not be outside, we only put a few bucket fulls in.
We then popped on mittens. Norah insisted on also popping on a winter toque because if it is cold enough for mittens it is cold enough for a hat.
Our mittens no longer match at this point in the winter. I assume the matches are buried somewhere in our yard or on a snowy hill. I really admire people who manage to buy ONE pair of mittens for each child and ensure they don’t lose them all winter long. I am definitely not that level.
Anyways, once the snow was in the tub and the mittens were on it was time to play! It was very tricky for Norah to not want to get right in the tub. I believe this is because I didn’t put quite enough snow in and she really had to reach for it. But she did move past this and started to have fun squishing the snow and making some snowballs.
Her big brothers were right there playing away. One of the things I love about having kids of all different ages is that they get exposure to SO many things! I don’t think I would have chosen to do this activity if I didn’t have a 2 year old. BUT, my 8 and 10 year olds liked it every bit as much as the toddler.
It wasn’t long before snowmen were created. We grabbed some little rocks and shells and pipe cleaners from one of our quiet bins so little eyes, noses, mouths, and scarves could be built.
This is a great sensory activity for children and a wonderful science lesson as well. Children learn all about melting snow and get to see just how dirty that pretty white snow actually is! It is also a wonderful chance to build vocabulary and oral language development.
Snow makes a great base for lots of STEM activities as well! Children can be challenged to turn all of the snow into one huge snowball. Or make the tiniest snowman that they can! They can try to make a snow bridge or a snow sculpture.
Once our snow had melted away, we added some hot water and let little Norah hop in that tub. We got her a bin of snow to bring in with her and she liked that every bit as much as the first activity! We just needed to keep adding warm water so the water stayed a good temperature.
This simple activity is definitely going to be a staple around here! Happy winter sensory play!