Since we currently live in South Carolina, Holden and I don’t get to experience snow very often. I thought it would be fun to make some art with an imitation of the cold, frosty stuff. Holden, my 3 year-old, absolutely LOVED this activity and keeps asking when we can paint on the windows again.
The best part? This project uses only items you can already find around your house. It’s virtually free, and if your kids are anything like mine, it will keep them quiet, focused, and having fun for hours!
I’ll be honest. This project was initially supposed to create “frosted” windows, using a liquid form of dissolved salt and “painting” it on your windows. I just couldn’t seem to get my salt to dissolve at a high enough concentration, or get my liquid to actually stay in one place without making a drippy mess, so instead we used a thicker salt paste to create snow. The snow project was so much easier for a preschooler to handle than dealing with a drippy liquid sliding down the windows. It was also kind of therapeutic grabbing bunches of the mushy, grainy stuff in your hands and glopping it onto the windows.
To top it all off – it was dark by the time we were ready to make our art, so I just set up a lamp by the window (a front window facing the street) and decided that I didn’t care if the neighbors thought we were wackadoos doing something strange to our windows at night. If you read my tale of the Nature Scavenger Hunt, you’ll know that they already think we’re wackadoos, so at this point, who cares?
Here are the super easy steps to creating some “snow”.
Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil.
Gradually stir in 2.5 cups of table salt.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix in 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
Transfer your paste to kid friendly bowls and have fun!
For reference, the snow that worked best for us looked like this in consistency.
This snow can be made in under 15 minutes, but if you’re a DIY dunce like me, you’ll obsess over consistency and test the stuff all over your stove while you continue to boil, add more water, no wait, does it need more salt…..?
This was my stove by the end of preparation! I know. I just made you feel really good about yourself. You’re welcome!
Holden attempted to use the cookie cutters to make shapes with it, but for the most part decided to just smear it around with his hands and the paintbrushes. And I am not kidding when I say that he was mesmerized by the stuff! He happily sat in his little booster seat, using the windowsill as his easel, and painted for close to 2 hours with me painting beside him and taking pictures. I think the idea of getting to paint on windows really made the project extra exciting. I bet you could make some really gorgeous art by using this stuff on black paper, but kids just love the idea of painting on something unique.
I recommend placing a blanket beneath your window to try to catch all of the salty crumbs and drips that will result.
Here’s a look at what our windowsill looked like as the night wore on — pretty messy!
Clean up was really easy, though, as it just required a wet sponge and a garbage can, and a tiny bit of sweeping for a few stray crumbs that wandered from the blanket. Washing the windows was pretty easy too – just a few wipedowns/rinse/repeats with a wet sponge and then a final wipe with glass cleaner.
I had a blast forming letters and making shapes with the cookie cutters. It helped to hold the cookie cutter in place for an extra minute after I had filled it with “snow”, and to make sure that I hadn’t used parts of the snow that were too wet or drippy.
By the next morning, our snow looked truly authentic. It had hardened into all these fabulous, frosty peaks!
Being the DIY dunce that I am. I failed to realize that my “JOY” painting would appear backwards from the outside of our house. There it sits to this day…perplexing mail ladies and play-date visitors alike. I think it’s like a fun little secret. The JOY is on the inside of the house where WE are!
I really hope you will give this easy activity a try. It is so much fun!
Stay tuned for Science Sunday… I’ll share all sorts of interesting things I learned about crystals and chemistry in researching this project.