I’m not trying to be the most dramatic person in the history of the entire world…but colored Insta-Snow is EVERYTHING. Colorful! Fluffy! Mixable! Every.thing.
Wait, wait…what is colored Insta-Snow?
Your new favorite sensory material, that’s what! 😍
Insta-snow is a white powder that looks and feels a little bit like salt, but unlike salt, when it gets wet it expands to 100x its size.
And the best part is that when it gets wet and expands, it takes mere seconds and happens right before your eyes. You can add regular water to it, or – our favorite – you can also add colored water to make colored snow.
Related: Looking for more fun “faux snow” activities? Try our Baking Soda “Snowy” Sensory Table!
Colored Insta-Snow is what dreams are made of
And it’s especially wonderful for people who don’t live in or near the snow! For example, we are in Northern California, and while snow is only about an hour away during the Winter, many of our preschoolers haven’t seen snow before in person, and this is a fantastic alternative.
Warning: once you try colored Insta-Snow, you will want to make it over and over and over again.
Some other fun Winter sensory activities to try:
- Oobleck Sensory Play – Messy Little Monster
- Painting Snow Indoor Activity – Busy Toddler
- Winter Ice Sensory Activity – Days with Grey
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- Instant-Snow (I buy it wherever it’s the least expensive between Amazon and Discount School Supply)
- Coloring (liquid watercolors or food coloring)
Let’s make colored Insta-Snow
It’s as simple as can be: add some Insta-Snow powder into a container and add water. Ta-da. That’s it!
As soon as the two mix, the Insta-Snow puffs and fluffs into gorgeous faux snow.
In the Insta-Snow packet, you’ll find the exact ratio of how much water and powder to use, but it’s about 2 ounces of water to 1 teaspoon of powder. Because I have made Insta-Snow three gazillion times, I now eyeball it because it’s nearly impossible to mess it up.
To make your Insta-Snow colorful, add coloring to your water before adding it to the powder.
What do we do with it?
Use it as the base of a sensory table! Here are some of our best Insta-Snow tips:
❄️ Use this outside or over a mat indoors. While it’s not that hard to clean, it’s very light and can easily come out of the container you have it in. We use this outdoors so we can quickly and easily sweep anything that has spilled or over a sheet indoors that we can shake back into the container when done.
❄️ Add in animal figurines! Because it really does look (and feel) like snow, adding in your child’s favorite animal figurines allows for incredible pretend play. Kids love hiding animals in the snow, making it snow on the animals, and pretending they’re in a real Winter wonderland.
❄️ Add more water to rehydrate. Depending on how long you keep it, it may start to dry out a touch. Add more water if you notice the volume has shrunk or it feels too dry to the touch. Insta-Snow can last forever, so you can rehydrate repeatedly!
According to maker Steve Spangler, once the Insta-Snow is completely dried out, you can store it and save it to use again in the future. How cool is that?!
What ages is colored Insta-Snow best for?
Any age that isn’t still putting things in their mouth. Insta-Snow is not edible, so make sure your child isn’t tempted to take a little taste or make Insta-Snow-cones.
You know your child the best and will always use your best judgment when deciding if your child is ready for various sensory experiences.
How do I clean up colored Insta-Snow?
As long as your Insta-Snow is used with clean hands, you can let it completely dry, store it in an airtight container, and use it again and again!
If you’re using this in a classroom with lots of hands or are just ready to toss it, you can throw it away in the trash. For example, when we use this in our classroom, we typically set it out in a sensory bin on Monday, use it during the week, and then throw it away on Friday.
Why we love sensory play
Sensory play is one of the best gifts you can offer to your little learners. There are countless academic, physical, and cognitive benefits to sensory play, but our favorite reason for sensory play is because it’s fun. Providing children with opportunities to engage in activities that make their bodies just as fulfilled as their brains mean the world to us.
Did you know that the sense of touch is the most neglected sense in the preschool classroom? I was shocked when I learned this myself, but it’s true!
This information makes it important for teachers and caregivers to fill their classrooms and homes with many opportunities to touch various textures.
When incorporating various textures, think wet, dry, smooth, rough, hard, soft, cold, warm, bumpy, flat, heavy, light, etc. Insta-Snow checks off many boxes, including wet, dry, cold, soft, and light.
Colored Insta-Snow is “snow” much fun!
Be prepared for oohs, ahhs, and absolute wonderment with colored Insta-Snow!