Shoveling + Snow Sensory Play

posted in: Parenting | 21

What’s snow sensory play? I’ll get to that in a minute (with activity links at the end of this post!), but first, let’s talk snow. There’s something about snow that just draws kids right in. My toddler is obsessed with shoveling snow, snow sensory play, you name it — if it has to do with snow, he’s rearing and ready to go. I’ve felt bad about not being able to get out more this winter (negative digits, windchill, plus sick bugs)… but fortunately we stumbled across two nice snow activities this winter:

  • “shoveling” snow on our deck
  • indoor snow sensory play

Coincidentally, both of these activities *will* work even when the snow is melty and the weather is on the warmer side! So read on to see what we’ve done for snow sensory play — indoors and out.

Snowy Day - Sensory Snow Play

Outdoors Snow “Shoveling” Fun

This past week we’ve finally seen temperatures rise above freezing, so Toby was thrilled to get out on the deck *without* a coat. I think he played for an hour out there, shoveling, scooping, and otherwise manipulating the snow. It started as a trip out on the deck to fill up a mixing bowl with snow for indoor snow sensory play… and turned into outdoors fun!

Snow Sensory Play Indoors

He did end up back indoors at the counter, playing with his bowl of snow. We don’t have a proper sensory bin, so have just been using jelly roll sheet pans to contain the melting snow. But, no matter. His fun has not been diminished by “lack” of proper materials. I supplied a few “real” kitchen items, and he supplemented everything else from the playroom. It’s always interesting to see what creative ideas toddlers will come up with on their own!

Without much prompting, Toby discovered how to use the straw to move water from one place to another. He then experimented with putting ice chunks into a jar via the straw, all on his own. Really quite neat! Here are a few images of the snowy day fun — both indoors and out.

Click on an image below to open the gallery view. Also, make sure to scroll to the end of this post, as I’ve shared some more great ideas for snow sensory play!

More Snow Sensory Play Ideas

Want to play in the snow? Indoors or Out? Well, here are some other blog posts that may help get your parental creative juices flowing. These links will open in a new window, in case you want to refer to this (non-exhaustive) list).

Indoor Snow Play

Outdoor Snow Play

What If You Don’t have Snow?

Have More Snow Play Ideas?

What about you? Do you have more snowy day ideas for kids, or great snowy sensory play suggestions? Maybe you have some fond memories of activities you loved when growing up? I’d love to hear them in the comments section.

21 Responses

  1. Laurie Kazmierczak

    What a great blogโ™ช Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! My kids had a blast playing in the snow we got last month – especially my 2 year old. We brought some indoors and let her have at it at the counter, too!

  3. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Laurie (and thanks for visiting!)

  4. Betsy Finn

    My pleasure, Michelle! I don’t know who has more fun in the snow…the parents getting to watch their kids’ antics, or the kids themselves ๐Ÿ™‚

    My little one went out again today with a spoon and a mixing bowl, played in the snow for probably a half hour, despite it being more ice due to the all-day mist and rain. It never gets old. (We can finally see grass… wonder if winter is bidding us adieu finally?)

  5. Liz Lewis

    I am SO impressed by these highly creative and development-promoting activities. I want to tuck this away for when I have children eventually (got to find Mr. Right first). I was a nanny for 4 children under age 6 and it’s incredible how much sensory activities like this can do for them! Thanks!!

  6. Quarter Life Cents

    Great ideas! We have an over abundance of snow here and these are some great ideas for my daughter now that it is getting bearably cold out again ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Betsy Finn

    Oh, that’s so true, Liz! Kids love sensory activites, even ones that seem pointless to us adults :). Best of luck with finding Mr. Right, btw… sometimes it takes a while, but it’s worth the wait, right?

  8. Betsy Finn

    Happy to help. Isn’t it the worst when there is gorgeous snow outdoors but it’s too cold to stay out and play?

  9. Englepappa

    That looked like a really fun day in the snow! Here in western Norway we’ve had only two days with snow this winter – it has really been a strange experience! These days it doesn’t matter anymore – now I’m waiting for the real spring to come…

  10. Betsy Finn

    Oh, that is an interesting turn of events! And yes, I hear you on being ready for spring. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Kim Cunningham

    He looks like he had a ball! These are precious!

  12. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Kim — he did indeed have a grand time. The trouble is always getting him to want to come back inside ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Kelley Quigley

    What a fun post – I love all the ideas and will definitely have to check out some of those posts you linked too! your son is such a cutie ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Betsy Finn

    Thanks, Kelley! Hope you enjoy some of the ideas and activities ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Rachel

    Thanks for linking up on the #smallvictoriessunday linky. My boys love snow, but we’ve had a little too much this year in the South. Glad your kids had fun.

  16. Jess @UsedYorkCity

    What great ideas! When I used to teach kindergarten, we would sensory play with uncooked rice (so much cleaner than sand!), and the kids loved it!:-)

  17. Betsy Finn

    Glad you stopped by, Rachel! Yeah, we’ve had what some people would call too much up here as well… ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Betsy Finn

    Great idea, Jess! Rice is easier to clean up, I agree ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Sara @ Happy Brown House

    Thanks for including my post in your round-up! Looks like he had fun!

  20. Betsy Finn

    You’re welcome Sara! I always love sharing good ideas ;). And yes, much fun was had!

  21. […] 6) Betsy Finn Photography has a blast with her Snow Shovelling Sensory Play. […]