This snowy sensory tub is quick and easy to set up – just add shaving foam for a soft wintery scene. Add some natural elements like branches and pebbles and let the imaginative play begin!
R (4 yrs at the time we did this) is fascinated by snow, mountains, arctic animals and anything watery. He recently made up a story about a trip to the Snowy Mountains (we’ve been talking about holidaying there next year), so I made a quick winter sensory tub for him to play out his story. I began by creating a scene with pebbles for a road, a cardboard tube for a bear cave, some twigs and branches and a few blue glass beads for a pond. We added a few cars and trucks and then sprayed the whole thing with shaving foam to create our snow covered rocky mountain road.
R had a great time creating stories, burying the cars and in the snow and then having the truck come to rescue them.
The shaving foam is a wonderful sensory material and although R has extremely sensitive skin, it doesn’t seem to affect him which is why I love to use it. If you don’t have any shaving foam or would prefer to use something else, rice would also work really well. We have used rice for Christmas themed sensory tubs and it is smooth and silky to touch. Our pebbles end up in almost all of out sensory tubs and imaginative play scenes – like our frog pond small world play scene. The pebbles are so tactile and can be used in so many ways.
This tub was great for language development and imagination as R narrated his many stories while he played. This tub kept him interested for most of the day. He would play with it for a while, leave it to do something else and then come back to it again. It was a very calming and relaxing activity for him.
R decided to add some water to the tub. He was fascinated to watch what happened to the shaving foam as it mixed with the water. We talked about mixtures, solutions and dissolving – adding some playful science to the activity.
The shaving foam eventually settled on top of the water so we were able to talk about how the foam is lighter than the water so it floats (and we related this back to our earlier mixing oil and water experiment ). R loved to look through the side of the tub, trying to spot as many items as he could, excitedly pointing out the buried cars and twigs. He was fascinated to watch some of the foam effervescing from the pebbles and bubbling up to the surface. I’m not sure if you can see it very well in the above photo but R was amazed to see it.
Eventually R requested some food colouring so he could add it to the tub (he LOVES mixing food colouring into water!). At that point we took the tub outside and he made some amazing patterns in the shaving foam with the colouring. That deserves a post all of it’s own so I’ll share it very soon!