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How to Make Instant Snow for Kids

by Rachel Withers
January 3, 2024

How to make instant snow with Insta Snow powder and water. Includes ideas for playing with the fake snow and tips for containing the mess.

Updated December 2023

My family lives in Maine, where the winters are long and snow is pretty abundant. We sometimes bring real snow in to paint with or use in sensory play.

But I was still curious to try Instant powder so I ordered a small container.

I wasn’t sure how long this would hold my kids’ attention, but this material was new and exciting. Not only is the process and science of this fake snow fun, but they truly enjoyed playing with it on trays for a LONG time.

So what’s not to love?

Child with winter sensory play bin instant snow

As a disclaimer up front, I wouldn’t consider this a super eco friendly material. (It’s similar to the polymer in disposable diapers.) As such, be sure to stay with your kids and make sure your child is not inclined to eat it!

Then there’s the mess factor, which my teammate, Anna, thankfully had me prepared for. (Have your vacuum on hand!)

Use a tray to help contain the instant snow and ask kids to remain at the sensory bin or tray until completely finished with their play.

When the kids were finished playing completely, we brushed them off and vacuumed the table, chairs & floor. (My husband advised not to let this go down the drain!)

Despite all that, the process (grow snow in seconds!) and texture is very fun for kids and I think we’ll likely try this again.

How to Make Instant Snow

This post contains affiliate links.


Time needed: 10 minutes


  1. Mix Instant Snow

    Follow the instructions from the container to create your instant snow. Ours were very simple and involved scooping the powder and then pouring in a ratio of water.

    kids mixing up instant snow with water

  2. Grow your snow!

    Then comes the fun part! Almost instantly the snow begins to grow quite quickly. Fluff it with your hand or a spoon a few times, then pour out onto a tray for the kids.

    Child touching instant snow

  3. Touch it (but don’t taste it!)

    At this point, my kids went into a snow zone.

    Child touching instant snow on tray

    They touched it, pushed it, fluffed it, piled it into little snow mountains. It has an interesting texture that they found fascinating.

  4. Add small toys

    After a period of time interacting with just the material, the kids were ready to add in our arctic creatures. They set up small world trays and were pretty mesmerized for a LONG time.

    child with arctic animal toys and winter sensory play tray

This to me, is obviously what makes the mess worth it. And honestly, after our initial panic that this stuff might go all over our house in 2 seconds flat, it turned out, it’s not so bad with the parameters mentioned above.

child pressing insta snow in tray
Photo by Rachel Withers

People Also Ask

Insta-Snow is a synthetic polymer with super, water-absorbing properties. It’s the only faux snow on the market today that erupts when water is added. Similar superabsorbent polymers have been used in the past to absorb moisture in disposable baby diapers… without the incredible expanding property!

  • Is it environmentally friendly? I consulted the scientists in my family on this one. Although non-toxic this product is a polymer that is similar to what’s used in diapers and I would presume, not biodegradable.
  • How long does instant snow last for? After a day or so, it noticeably evaporates and begins to shrink. According to the website, you can rehydrate the snow at the point by adding a little water, then fluff it.
winter sensory play bin for kids
Photo by Rachel Withers

More Winter Activities for Kids

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Winter Fun Creativity pack!

Cozy up with some of our favorite wintertime activities for creative kids! This pack has 40 pages of winter-themed art activities that will keep your kids busy even on the snowiest day!

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