Over 20 snow messy play ideas to try with your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten kids. Be sure to check out our epic list of messy play ideas once you’re done here. Your students will get so much fun and learning out of these playful activities.
I think the snow-themed messy play will pair perfectly with your winter lesson plans. They can also be incorporated into a snow theme or in conjunction with your favorite snowy books. Of course, you can also try the messy snow activities just because they’re lots of fun!
Related: Winter Activities for Preschoolers
Now, above I mentioned that these snowy activities would be great for young children. Keep in mind that older kids will get a kick out of them, too! You can also make your own tweaks to the ideas shared below based on your preferences and the needs of your students.
Snow Messy Play Ideas
Below you’ll find a over 20 snow-themed messy activities for kids. I’ve even
Read through the materials, tips, and activities and decide what interests you the most. Then click on the links of your favorite ideas to read more details. Be sure to save this post for future reference!
Materials for the Messy Snow Activities
All of the snow messy play ideas listed below have their own specific supplies. But there are quite a few materials that appear in many of them. So here’s a list of some of the items you might use for the messy activities (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Instant snow powder
- Real snow
- Liquid watercolors
- Spray bottles
- Waterproof toys (dinosaurs, Arctic animals, penguins, etc.)
- Water balloons
- Epsom salt
That’s not necessarily a full list, but you can build a ton of messy snowy activities with just those supplies! Take a look and see which of the ideas listed below matches up the best with what you already have on-hand. Unless you need an excuse to head to the store, of course!
Messy Play Clean-Up Tips
Since we’re talking about snow messy play ideas, I’m sure you’re expecting some mess, right?! Because each of these activities definitely brings messiness along. The level of mess is going to depend on the individual activity, the materials used, and how your students engage with the activity.
I’m not one to shy away from a mess. Especially because, for many young children, mess can be the result of open-ended play and creativity. Not all children care for messes, and that’s okay too. They might approach each snowy idea from a different angle.
To mitigate some of the mess, have a plan in place! Know what your preferred mess level is and keep your expectations of the kids age-appropriate. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Model and explain your expectations to the kids ahead of time.
- Take things outside if possible.
- Have towels on-hand if you’re using real snow.
- Keep kid-friendly cleaning tools nearby.
- Put a tarp or mat down if getting into the messy play inside.
- Teach the children how to handle the mess during clean-up time.
Hopefully those tips will help with the snow messy play ideas!
Messy Play with Real Snow
Let’s kick the ideas off with activities using real snow. If you live somewhere that consistently gets snow, these activities are for you! Even if you only get snow occasionally, now you’ll have some ideas in your back pocket. And if you don’t ever have snow nearby, you can look into substituting the real snow for your favorite sake snow!
- Add some vibrancy to the blank, white canvas outside by snow painting with water balloons!
- Set up a melting snowman science activity for your students. Let them get creative, and a little messy, as they build a snowman inside and watch it melt.
- Put together a snow paint dinosaur sensory bin to combine art, sensory play, and small world play into one messy activity.
- Encourage the kids to try their hand at experimenting with snow and what melts it fast.
- Add dramatic play to your snow messy play ideas with an indoor or outdoor snow kitchen.
- Use colored ice shapes to create pictures and pretend play in real snow.
- Try snow painting with markers after the next snowfall. This would be great out on the playground.
- Bring the snow inside for painting ice and snow on a big tray.
- Create a snow numbers activity to incorporate early math skills with messy sensory fun.
Which of those messy real snow activities would your students get a kick out of?
Fake Snow Messy Play Ideas
Now it’s time for the messy ideas that use pretend snow. You can swap out the fake snow for real snow if you’d prefer! Or change things up by incorporating your preferred fake snow in place of the ideas listed below.
- Learn how to make fake snow with flour and create a snowy sensory bin. This “snow” is moldable, and you can even put it in the fridge or freezer to make it cold.
- Have your students practice fine motor skills with a snow writing tray. Then let the kids explore some small world play while they’re at it.
- Put together a penguin sensory bin for the kids to play in.
- Explore an arctic sensory bin with your students during your next arctic animals theme.
- Discuss hibernation and dormancy while the kids play in a winter-themed bear sensory bin.
- If your students are big fans of a certain ice queen, this frozen snow dough needs to be on your list of snow messy play ideas.
- Mix science, sensory play, and pretend play with a messy pretend snow small world.
- Make snow floam with the kids and explore a fun combination of textures while playing.
- Set up an inviting arctic sensory bin that incorporates DIY fake snow and water for your students.
- For littles, why not make edible pretend snow they can play in?
- Delve into some winter science by experimenting with instant snow powder.
Do you have a favorite fake snow recipe that would work with these snowy activities?
Snowy Messy Art
I found a few additional snow messy play ideas your students might enjoy! These don’t really use real snow or fake snow. But they’re snow-themed creative ideas, so I think they fit perfectly here.
- Use cookie cutters to create this fun snowman art project with the kids.
- Grab some of the kids favorite rolling toys for a snow trucks winter art activity.
- Teach the kids about snowflake printmaking this winter.
- Try some pet art activities, like this “pets in the snow” idea.
- Use doilies for a fun, and messy, snowflake art project.
- Let the kids make winter handprint art trees, using their fingers to create snow.
Well, now that you have over 25 snow messy play ideas, which one are you going to try first? I know, I know, it’s a hard decision to make!
Snowman Lesson Plans
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Click on the image below to get our snowman lesson plan pack. It has over 300 pages, including a weekly overview, detailed daily plans, whole group lessons, small group activities, center ideas, book suggestions, and related printables.
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