In this article: Make a snow sensory bin with your kids for a fun, indoor winter activity.
Kids love sensory play and there are a million ideas out there on how to make some pretty fancy sensory bins, but you know what? I am a fan of the simple things. I love to use nature, and things in my kids’ natural environment to fill sensory bins and let them explore even more.
This winter snow sensory bin is SO easy. It’s simple. And it’s fun. Bring the outdoors inside and let your toddler or preschooler (or bigger kids!) explore the snow without tons of clothing or frigid temperatures!
How to Make a Snow Sensory Bin for Indoor Winter Fun
The ingredients for this snow sensory bin are simple: SNOW!
BUT, if you happen to not have any snow, here are a couple of other options:
Shaved ice. Think of this kind of like a giant snow cone. You can either process your ice in a food processor until it’s finely chopped and holds together when squeezed or you can by machines specifically made to make shaved ice
Instant Snow. So this isn’t technically snow, but if it’s all you got, then it’s all you got. You can buy instant snow powder online and make up a big batch to fill a large pan. This won’t work as well for molding, but it does get a little cold to the touch and it’s super fun to play with.
So on your next snowy day, when you don’t feel like bundling up your toddler or preschooler one. more. time. so they can play in the snow, bring the snow inside!
Take a large tub or roasting pan and fill it overflowing with fresh, clean snow (remember no yellow snow!)
Bring it inside to a room you don’t mind getting wet- the kitchen or even the bath tub is a good choice.
Then let the kids play in the snow. Inside the warm house without many layers of clothes.
Related Reading: 9 Pumpkin Sensory Play Ideas (with Real Pumpkins)
Fun Addons for Your Snow Sensory Bin
Snow can be fun to play with on it’s own, but kids like tools and extras. So here are some ideas of what to put in your snow sensory bin:
Small toy trucks. Dump trucks, bulldozers, and snow plows are great choices.
Cookie cutters. Get some winter or holiday themed ones out!
Food Coloring. You can use water based food colors or fill some small spray or squirt bottles with colored water to color the snow.
Spoons. You can’t go wrong with spoons and scoops.
Sand toys. If you have small sand toys they are great for molding snow!
Related Reading: Water and Bubbles Sensory Play
How to Play With the Snow Sensory Bin
I am a big fan of letting kids just play and create on their own. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give ideas!
Have them make tiny snowmen in their snow sensory bin. Try adding twigs or toothpicks for arms and tiny objects for the face.
Build a snow castle together using sand toys or just using your hands.
Have a contest on who can build the biggest snow tower.
Spray the snow with water to see how it melts (and talk about the science behind ice and water)
Remember, just like in the Snowy Day, snow won’t last long when you bring it indoors. But it’s easy to refill and once it melts you can play in some really cold, slushy water!
More Sensory Bin Ideas
Flowers Sensory Play for Young Kids
Water Bead Activities for Sensory Play