That afternoon I went directly to the store, where I picked up just two simple ingredients, for a grand total of $3.
Now, I have made a lot of dough and slimes with kids. Flubber, diy bouncy balls, Ooblek, homemade play dough, and most recently, an attempt at kinetic sand. (Fail.) While all of those things have merit, none has had the wow factor of the snow dough.
It's heavy, cold, packs like real snow, and crumbles back apart again. It has true heft- the two quarts I made weighted almost five pounds- it might even be heavier per volume than the real deal. And it really looks like snow.
|I swear I didn't shovel this from the playground.|
|Offer artists buttons, sticks, pipe cleaners, and little pine branches.|
Open-ended exploration of art materials leads to exactly the places I want kids to go- spontaneous creative places. Questions that students ask (such as, What can I make? How does this material work?) encourage social interactions around creative tasks, language skills, and fine motor skills. Consider this question asked: Can we put cars in it? Do we have a snow plow?
Creative ideas like acting out Katy and the Big Snow, shown above, connect to literacy and storytelling. Creativity becomes collaborative when students offer additional questions, like Who could we have Katy save? Let's get more cars!
This is not what art class always looks like. I teach many structured lessons, but art teachers have a few perpetual challenges for which I have developed a variety of answers over the years. What to do with early finishers? (Sketchbooks, stations, art jobs.) What to do with an extra class before a school vacation? (Don't begin something new with a group you aren't going to see again soon.) Give them, and yourself, a break. Do fun stations.
|That. by the way, is the face of authentic surprise, joy, and disbelief in how the faux snow works and feels.|