One morning before school Tinker announced “Mommy, I’d really like to do a project when I get home.” I asked her whether she wanted to play a game, make something, or get messy. The way her eyes lit up at the “get messy” part of my question was adorable, so I gathered a few items and made some pretend snow. Since it’s finally colder where we live, I thought she’d love it. Originally I planned to only have the pretend snow in a sensory bin (which I think she would have also loved), but I decided to pull out some Arctic animals and make a small world for pretend play and messy play…two of Tinker’s favorites.
How to Make Pretend Snow
For the pretend snow I mixed baking soda and water. I started by dumping the baking soda (leave a little extra aside in case you make the snow too soupy) in a container. Then I slow added water and mixed. If you want a more moldable dough then use less water. If you’d like it more like a liquid then add more water. If you end up adding too much water, you can add more baking soda to thicken it up. I used about 2 cups of baking soda and maybe a cup of water.
I also added silver glitter to the mixture for a sparkly touch. You can even pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to make it cold.
Set Up the Arctic Small World
When Tinker got home from school I poured the pretend snow in a serving platter that we have. You can use any shallow container. I also added some water and ice cubes on the side. Then I grabbed some of the animals we have from the Safari Ltd. Arctic Toob (affiliate link) and placed those in the small world setting. Finally I sprinkled a few sparkly silvery gems.
Arctic Small World Play
Tinker was thrilled to see the small world, and she immediately started playing with the animals. Everyone went for a nice swim.
Then they explored the Arctic tundra and met some of their neighbors.
After enjoying some pretend play for a while Tinker turned her attention to the pretend snow. She squealed as she let it squish between her fingers.
Then she made some snowballs.
Later she said, “Hey, Mommy. Did you say this is made with baking soda?” When I said yes, she flashed a little smile and said, “Do we have any vinegar?” I had to smile that she already knows these basic chemical reactions. And although I hadn’t planned to add vinegar to our small world, she had a ball with it. She especially loved how the vinegar made the glitter “dance” in the snow.