Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fake Snow Cones - Sensory and Fine Motor Play

For their birthdays recently Bubble and Squeak received some instant snow from their Aunty and Uncle (our rellies know fun when they see it :D). 
This week we used some to create a make believe snow cone stall which the girls had a blast with. Not only was it a great game for encouraging imaginative play but also provided plenty of sensory and fine motor experience as well.

* instant snow
* water
* small tub
* ice cream scoops
* squirt bottle and basters/droppers
* small cups/cones
* small containers of water and food colouring
* pop sticks
* play money

Side note - instant snow is heaps of fun to play with and non toxic, but it is not designed to be eaten. This activity was well supervised.

We set up a few tables in the backyard to create our pretend snow cone shop.

This is the instant snow we used, there are many different versions available though. The 'snow' starts as a powder that becomes a light fluffy substance once water is added.
Instant snow is bio degradable and we usually spread it on our lawn after use.

We made all this snow with just a few tablespoons of powder, then we put it in a tub with an ice cream scoop ready to create snow cones!

I set out a small tub full of different cups and paper cones for the girls to use.

Also on the table were some things to decorate the snow cones with; coloured water as syrup and pompoms as toppings.
I put the coloured water in a squeeze bottle and also in a jar with a baster to give the girls two different fine motor exercises. The pompoms were put in a jar with mini tongs to add more fine motor work.

We finished our little shop with some pop sticks and pretend money.

Open for business. The girls took turns being the shop keeper and the customer. We slowly built on their interactions and story lines, this sort of play is great for practicing living skills.

Bubble scooping out some instant snow to make a snow cone.

Using the squeeze bottle to make a raspberry snow cone.

The instant snow looked just like ice!

Squeak's turn to be shop keeper.

Using the baster to add her colour, the squeeze action involved is great for strengthening her hand muscles and grip.

Blueberry snow cone anyone?

Adding some pompom toppings.

Paying with play money. Bubble was getting very precise with her coins and terribly upset when her little sister kept giving her the 'incorrect change' :)

Once the girls had finished with a snow cone they dumped them into a bucket in our paddling pool. At the end of the game they had more fun squishing around the pool in the multi coloured snow.


  1. Ooh I have seen that stuff in a craft catalog recently and wondered if it was any good! You've inspired me to grabs some next time I see it!

  2. JJ's played with this at her playgroup - isn't it the strangest stuff to touch? But I hadn't thought of snow cones - brilliant!

  3. I have wanted to get my hands on Insta Snow since last Christmas when Chook saw the snow Gran and Grandpa were enjoying. Wow a tub of it sure makes a lot! The girls look like they had heaps of fun with it :)

    1. This was just three tablespoons of powder Amie! We've made three tubs like this with the one container so far and still have some left, it goes a long way!