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Wrap up warm and enjoy the experience of wintry weather – with or without snow!

Imagine creating an ice kitchen! What delights might be served up as a winter feast suitable for Santa and his elves? Sprout flavoured ice lollies, frozen burgers or chilly chips?

Posted on Tuesday 13th December 2016

Messy play and mud kitchens with snow and ice outdoors

Set up this messy play bench, or similar, to make a delightful area, perfect for this time of year. It might become part of a snowman’s house, the Jack Frost Factory or whatever children want it to be.

Nothing beats real snow, but instant snow powder is the next best thing! It feels cold when made with cold water. Alternatively, make ‘home-made’ snow by mixing shaving foam into baking soda – let children experiment to find the best consistency.

Sprinkle ‘snow’ around the bench and add shiny objects such as metallic pebbles for great reflection play, glitter, snowflakes, snowflake confetti and ice bricks.

Freeze water in a glove to make Jack Frost’s hand! Use ice-cube trays, or other containers, to freeze water and add small ‘treasures’ such as leaves, flowers, plastic animals, sequins. Hide them in the snow. What is the quickest way to get the objects out of the ice unharmed? Provide pipettes, brushes, small cylinders, etc. Does warm or cold water work better for melting?

Top Tip: If a frost is expected, get the children to make pictures on an inking tray palette, foam/plastic plate or similar, using fairly flat objects, such as shapes, leaves, twigs etc. Add water and leave outside for the night. Discover the frozen works of art in the morning and use to decorate the icy-play area.

Or simply leave trays of water outside and let the children discover what has happened in the morning. They might enjoy:

Painting onto the ice using brushes and paints, or simply dipping the brushes in warm water – what happens to the ice?

The trays also make great ice-rinks for small-world people or creatures!

With thanks to Beverley Smalley for writing this blog. Beverley is an education specialist, writer and former primary school teacher.