Snow Painting

If you haven’t done so yet, today is the last day to enter our giveaway!

We’ve had some beautiful snow here in Brussels this past week, and by the looks of it, it’s here to stay! We have been out enjoying it with our sled and some sand toys – yes, they’re great for playing in the snow too! Sprout 1 (3,5) particularly loves his hand drill. But it gets to a point where my feet are freezing and/or baby Sprout tires of being outside, so why not enjoy the snow indoors?

Snow Painting - BxlSprout

One way we’ve been enjoying our snow indoors is by painting it. Now, before you think this is too messy, hear me out! It really is simple to set up – you probably have all you need around the house already – and if you put a drop cloth underneath, it’s a cinch to clean up too!

Here’s how we did it:

Snow Painting

Snow painting - BxlSprout

You will need:

  • Drop cloth – we just used an old oilcloth; an old shower curtain would do just fine
  • Shallow container for painting the snow
  • Container and scoop/spoon/sand shovel for clean snow
  • Food colouring or liquid watercolours
  • Droppers – you can buy them at Casa just like the ones we have, or you could save old medicine droppers
  • A container for the colors – we use an ice-cube tray. Lots of compartments for mixing and only small amounts required
  • Rag for cleaning up spills
  • Salt
  • Magnifying glass

snow painting - BxlSprout

Sorry, I don’t have pictures of the entire process because I was an active participant ;), but it’s quite straightforward. the important part is your child has fun!

Have everything set up so once the snow gets inside the kids could just have a go at it.

  • Set the drop cloth on the floor. We have an old kids sized table we scored for free on Freecycle that we plopped on top, but directly on the floor isn’t a problem either, or if you’re worried about the table, a plastic tablecloth or old newspapers should do the trick.
  • Prepare your paints/food coloring by pouring some into a container – I love ice-cube trays for this! We always only use the 3 primary colours and Sprout1 mixes up any others he wants out of those. Great hands on way to teach color mixing!
  • I also have a little container with some coarse salt in it for sprinkling on the snow so Sprout1 can see how it melts. Also seems to liven the colours.
  • Now go scoop up some snow from outside into your container (we just opened our window and used a combination of ice cream scoop, plastic cup and sand shovel) and get out of their way!

sanow painting - BxlSprout

It’s great fun for the kids to use droppers (and great for fine motor skills needed for writing, etc.), but even if you don’t have them, you could always try dripping colour with a small spoon. The colours spread out beautifully in the snow!

snow painting - BxlSprout.com

We had a magnifying glass handy so Sprout1 could have a closer look at the snow. Remember, just let them explore the items; there is no right or wrong way here! It’s all about the process and having fun.

Sprout1 then wanted to see if water would melt the snow faster… can you guess the answer?

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Once they (or you!!) have had enough, just throw everything in the sink. Easy-peasy! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, food colouring is washable (we haven’t had any staining) and so is our brand of liquid watercolours, though you can’t find the same brand in Belgium. I imagine it holds true for all liquid watercolours, but can’t promise!

Have you been enjoying any indoor snow activities lately?

Weekend links from around the web

I keep finding interesting information from around the web, so I thought it would be nice to do a weekly post with weekend links. Here goes the first; feel free to add any interesting links you’ve come across in the comments!

Oh, and don’t forget –only 2 more days on the baby signing giveaway! If you haven’t done so yet, enter now!

Snow Art

We’ve been enjoying playing with snow. Here’s some of Sprout1’s Snow Art.

Belgium- “Researchers at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) have found that the concentration of hormone-disrupting substances is 20 times higher in pre-schools with plastic furniture and toys than in classrooms with only natural materials, such as wood. Researchers examined the air quality in classrooms at 12 Flemish pre-schools. The substances don’t pose an immediate toxic danger but do increase the risk of diabetes, infertility and prostate and breast cancer in the long term. The quality of the plastic is also an important factor.” (source: http://www.flanderstoday.eu – unfortunately couldn’t find link to the actual research paper)

If you have boys, you MUST listen to the Raising Playful Tots Podcast this week – Calmer Easier Happier Parenting of Boys, with Noël Janis-Norton, author,teacher, trainer speaker learning and behavioural specialist.

Snow day activities- With the wonderful snow we’ve been getting here in Brussels, it’s time to get outside and enjoy it!

Juliet from I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here has a few ideas for outdoor activities in her post Snow Fun

Amanda of Not Just Cute has a Thematic Unit on Wintertime for indoor and outdoor learning activities for winter

Nicole from Life of Bear and Dragon has been out watching people sledding at Parc Woluwe and has some beautiful pictures to show for it!

sledding in Brussels

We’ve been out sledding at the less spectacular but less crowded slopes nearby 😉

Indoor winter activities with kids- If going out in negative temperatures isn’t your cup of tea, have a look at The Artful Parent‘s latest e-book with wintry crafts – The Artful Winter

For more wintry inspiration, why not have a look at my Winter Play and Art Pinterest board?

Enjoy the winter wonderland!