Midwinter sensory play: cornflour snowscape

Cornflour snowscape

Since the shortest day is drawing near with the usual grey damp dark (and certainly no snow fun), I’ve been experimenting with sparkly wintery sensory play indoors.

I’m mainly looking for ideas that work for both my 9 month and 2-year-9-month old together. Here is the first – more to follow!
Cornflour snowscape

This is so easy to do but creates a really startling substance that can be anything from gloop to solid… plus it sets over time, but can be re-liquified with more water. Lots of fun to touch and experiment with. It even washes off easily.

It also has the most intriguing texture, irresistible really – seriously you will be sitting there next to your toddler, poking and stirring the stuff and wondering how it can seem liquid and solid at the same time. Or perhaps you get out more than I do.

Intriguing to touch and mix

Anyway, all you do is mix lots of cornflour with water in a shallow tray.

Mixing cornflour with water

We added the water gradually and Finn enjoyed mixing with a spoon and whisk.

We got a thick, just stirrable consistency that figure could stand up in and Finn played happily with some toy animals, cars and trees which got covered in ‘snow’ in an appealing way. A spoon was a snow plough for the stuck cars. Etc.

Some animals in the snow

Meanwhile, little B enjoyed sticking his fingers and feet in the mixture and picking up the animals.

A more prepared parent would have put the tray of cornflour on a plastic mat on the floor, instead of on the table, so both kids could access more easily. Next time.

Finn wore an overall but actually this stuff is very easy to wipe off things. If you are worried about getting your tray back I can tell you that even when left overnight (I ran a full trial for your benefit 🙂 ) you can just run it under the tap and the cornflour dissolves away.

An unexpected bonus of my slow clearing up: the next morning the mix had set hard (but still crumbly, not too sharp to play with), and cracked like crazed ice. This was pretty exciting for Finn, as the trees were ‘frozen’ in and he spent a happy 10 minutes breaking apart the plates of ‘ice’ with a spoon.

I got this idea from the brilliant Overland Children’s Centre which had a Halloween themed slime tray full of model creepy crawlies at one of their stay-and-plays in Victoria Park. They dyed their mix with food colouring, which looked cool. The possibilities are endless…


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