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Thomas & Friends

Snow Play

Help your young learner create an indoor winter wonderland and stage a rescue mission!

The Island of Sodor is covered in snow during the winter, which possesses lots of challenges and surprises for Thomas and his engine friends. Whether or not it snows where you live, you can make your own fake snow and have some winter fun indoors! Use the snow for small world play and a rescue mission with a scientific twist!

Time: 10 to 15 Minutes

Materials

For the Fake Snow:
• 2 cups baking soda
• 1/3 cup white colored hair conditioner
• Mixing bowl and spoon

For the Small World:
• Tray
• Rocks or pebbles
• Small cars (or other toys)
• Small plastic animal figures (or other toys)
• Blue paper

For the Rescue Mission:
• Vinegar
• Squeeze bottle or recycled condiment bottle
• Shallow bowl

Directions

1. Make the Snow

Have your children help make the snow! Empty 1 box of baking soda (approximately 2 cups) into a large bowl. Add 1/3 cup of white conditioner and stir to combine. Knead the dough with your hands to get a flaky, soft consistency that feels like snow.

BONUS: Conditioner feels cold to the touch and adds to the sensory experience! You can also store your snow in an airtight bag in the refrigerator and it will stay soft and cold.

Snow-Play-1

Snow-Play-3

2. Make a Small World

If you want to have a water feature, place a piece of blue paper on the tray. Place your fake snow on top of the paper and tray and spread it out. Add cars, pebbles, and small animals to create a small world for your child.

NOTE:  If you are using a large tray, you will need to double the recipe above to make enough snow to create a small world.

Snow-Play-5

3. Rescue Mission

Here’s a scientific twist on your small world! Have your child pack the fake snow around a figurine or car to make a “snowball” with a hidden object at the center. Place the snowball in a shallow bowl. Add vinegar to an empty squeeze bottle or condiment bottle. Ask your child to “rescue” the animal or car at the center of the snowball by squeezing vinegar on it. The baking soda and vinegar will react and cause the snowball to foam and “melt.”

VINEGAR SAFETY: Vinegar is an irritant. Be sure to let your child know not to squeeze vinegar near his or her eyes and to use caution when touching the dissolved snow, as vinegar can irritate sensitive skin.

NOTE: Be sure to do this on a separate tray or bowl from your small world; once the fake snow and vinegar react, they will become mushy.

Snow-Play-8

Snow-Play-9

Take It Further:

Talk with your child about the reaction that happens between baking soda and vinegar. What does he/she observe and hear? Tell your child that what you have just witnessed is called a chemical reaction. During a chemical reaction, two ingredients (the baking soda and vinegar for this project) are mixed together and then break apart to form a new substance. The added conditioner in the “snow” makes the reaction last longer and appear soapier than the basic vinegar and baking soda reaction.

Relate the small world play and rescue mission back to the concept of helping others. Sometimes helping someone involves problem-solving skills. The engines of Sodor often have to think creatively to get themselves and their friends out of a jam. The “rescue mission” in this activity involves applying a little bit of science to extract the car/figure from its snowy enclosure. This holiday season, ask your child to help someone they know by creatively solving a problem for him or her. Can your child help a grandparent with a daily challenge? Can your child help a friend who is struggling with something and needs a new perspective? Encourage your children to use their problem solving skills when they help other people.

 


Produced by: Funding is provided by:
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© © 2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. The Thomas name and character and the Thomas & Friends logo are trademarks of Gullane (Thomas) Limited and its affiliates and are registered in many jurisdictions throughout the world. Thomas & Friends is a production of HIT Entertainment in association with THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. © 2017 HIT Entertainment Limited. HIT and the HIT logo are trademarks of HIT Entertainment Limited. © 2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. ® and ™ designate U.S. trademarks of Mattel, except as noted.

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