I've long wanted to try make artificial snow. This is a craft that will help us decorate our nativity scene at Christmas or if we make a model with the little ones and we want to give it a touch of realism with snow. Or just to get their hands dirty and have a blast.
I have tried 5 different methods to have artificial snow, I show them and compare them throughout the article. Internet is full of tutorials on how to make snow with diapers And it seems to me a disastrous activity and not suitable for children.
After a first frustrated attempt, I have liked the experience so little that I have looked for a more method to make homemade artificial snow, in a much safer, more spectacular way that you can easily do with your children. Below you have it all.
If you want commercial products to get artificial snow, fake snow or instant snow, we recommend these.
These are the ingredients that we are going to use for all the recipes.
- Shaving foam (€ 0,9)
- Sodium bicarbonate (€ 0,8)
- Cornstarch (€ 2,2)
- Conditioner (of which we have at home, it is used very little)
- Diaper and / or sodium polyacrylate
I leave a video that I have made doing the different types of snow so that the process can be seen more clearly. The diaper method I have saved for last. I have a few more videos ready that I will be posting independently to blog posts. So i leave you this link for you to subscribe to the Youtube channel
Let's get into trouble.
Method 1 - With a diaper
The theory is very easy, we have seen and read it on hundreds or thousands of Internet sites. We take several diapers, open them and take out the cotton that is wearing to absorb the pee. This is mixed with sodium polyacrylate.
Polyacrylate is a polymer that can absorb up to 500 times its volume and when it has caught water it is very similar to snow.
But this in principle is simple in practice I have found some problems, which I do not see anyone commenting on. Maybe it's me who's been unlucky.
Polyacrylate is mixed with cotton fiber and separating it has been really cumbersome for me. I have tried two diapers, one for adults to be able to have more and one for babies and the same thing has happened to me in both, as much as I rub the cotton fiber, almost no polymer falls but a cloud of fluff forms around you floating in the air, made up of cotton fiber and I guess polymer. And the truth is I don't like having to be swallowing it, much less thinking that my daughters breathe that.
So I have discarded this method until I discover an efficient and safe way to remove the polyacrylate. Meanwhile, if you want to try this recipe they sell it in many places.
Methods that I see as suitable for children and what would I put like experiments for kids are the following:
Method 2 - Cornstarch and foam
Let's start with the Cornstarch and shaving foam recipe.
Maizena is fine corn flour, I have bought this brand but you can buy any other, the difference with a normal flour is that it is much finer, it is much more sieved.
We do not give any exact proportion of the mixture. Here we are simply going to add cornstarch and foam and mix until we get the desired texture in the snow.
The snow made of cornstarch and foam has a very soft touch that children tend to like a lot. It is somewhat yellowish so it does not give that real snow feeling, as with mixtures with bicarbonate.
Other things to take into account is the price of this flour, which is more than € 2 and if we want to make a quantity it will be much more expensive than with bicarbonate. Also stain. It is not at all exaggerated, and it goes easily, but it stains wherever you touch.
Method 3 - with baking soda and shaving foam
The following recipe is with baking soda and shaving foam. As you can see, shaving foam is widely used in home experiments, from these types of snow to different kinds of slime.
When buying bicarbonate of soda, I recommend you take these kilo bags that are very cheap, it cost me 80 or 90 cents. If we take the plastic cans there is much less quantity and it is worth more expensive.
The methodology is the same as that of the Cornstarch, we add bicarbonate, foam and we mix and complete with what we need. If it is too lumpy we put more bicarbonate if it is too soft that when compacting it does not keep anything in shape because we put more foam. And so on until we find the desired texture.
Unlike the previous snow, this one is pure white, and visually it looks much more like real snow.
Method 4 - baking soda and water
And we move on to what it has become my favorite method, making artificial snow using just baking soda and water.
And it is that, although it seems a lie, the snow cast in this way is very similar to that of the foam and that of the conditioner that we will see at the end. So much so that I did not mark the dishes in which the snow was stored; my daughters were playing and then I didn't know which one was. I only identified the one with the Maizena quickly by color.
I was very interested in having them identified because I wanted to see how each one evolved over the days and in the end I had no choice but to try them, because no matter how much I touched them, I could not distinguish them. The touch is a little different in each one, but nothing that makes you say this is much softer and it is foam, for example.
And I take advantage of this to remember to be more rigorous in future experiments and write things down, have them well identified and write everything down in a notebook so as not to lose data over time or in any oversight during the experiment.
The snow recipe is the same as all, bicarbonate of water and mix. You don't have to pour a lot of water.
At first I said that it is my favorite because if we get very similar results I think the best thing is to do the simplest. It is true that children enjoy less with this, because they like to get their hands dirty, but this is the cheapest version of all.
Method 5 - conditioner and baking soda
last recipe before and explain the famous diaper method.
In this case we are going to mix conditioner and baking soda. It is, I think, the stickiest method, because although the foam sticks a lot, the touch is pleasant and it is immediately well mixed and gets out of hand. But the conditioner makes your hands sticky slimy, I did not like it very much, sinal mixes well and separates from your hands, but they remain soapy.
You have to put a little amount, I put too much and to get a good texture I had to put a lot of conditioner.
The snow seems heavier than the previous ones, but it is only at the beginning, when a few hours pass they all become indistinguishable.
Comparison of types of artificial snow
Here we leave out the diaper or sodium polyacrylate because I could not get it. I have yet to compare the polyacrylate and put it in the comparison.
In the photos of the gallery is the 4 snows obtained. The 3 of bicarbonate a priori are indistinguishable, but look at the one for the Maizena. Do you see how it is more yellow?
The disappointment of the snow comes after 24 hours, the mixture has dried and what we have left is as if we had cornstarch or loose bicarbonate and we would have to redo the mixture or hydrate it so that it takes on the consistency of snow again. That is why the water method is the one I like the most.
In this regard, sodium polyacrylate does seem better to me, since I understand that it lasts much longer. As soon as I try it, I'll tell you ;-)