Snowman play dough

snowman play dough play - white, sparkly play dough recipe

As part of our Snow and Snowmen themed playful learning this January we made a batch of white play dough so that Rosalie could have some fun stamping out snowmen and decorating them.
Snowman play dough play - white, sparkly play dough recipeOur go-to play dough recipe is from The Imagination Tree, and we adapted Anna’s basic no-cook recipe to suit our theme. Because this recipe is made with cornflour the play dough has a different texture and behaves slightly differently (similar to that of a non-Newtonian fluid), giving a different sensory experience to regular play dough.

Snowman Play Dough


1 cup cornflour

1/4 cup salt

1 tbsp cream of tartar

Glitter (silver or iridescent white)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3/4 cup boiling water

Few drops of glycerine


1. Mix together the cornflour, salt, cream of tartar and glitter in a bowl, then add the oil and stir.

2. Add the boiling water gradually, and a few drops of glycerine, and stir continuously until the ingredients come together to form a sticky dough.

3. Leave the dough until it’s cool enough to handle.

4. Knead until you get a consistency that is mouldable and no longer sticky. Add more cornflour or water if you need to.

Snowman Play Dough Play

Once we had made our white, sparkly play dough, I set Rosalie up with a snowman cutter, rolling pin and bowl of coloured buttons, then let her explore and create.

She is three and does still struggle with rolling dough, so she asked me to roll her out some, which I did. She then set about cutting out little snowmen, and using the buttons to decorate.

snowman play dough play - white, sparkly play dough recipe

She was really intrigued by the texture of the dough – as I mentioned earlier, because we used cornflour to make the play dough extra white, it had a different consistency to regular homemade play dough. When we were working it and playing with it, the dough would remain firm and in shape, but if left it would begin to flow.

The non-Newtonian nature of the play dough meant that we could create snowmen that actually appeared to ‘melt’ over time. We made snowmen out of balls of dough stacked on top of each other, and at first they would sit nicely in their round snowman shape, but after a while the play dough started to flow! It was great fun!

Playful Learning

Sensory exploration – the texture and properties of the play dough provided plenty of sensory exploration.

Fine motor skills – manipulating play dough, using cookie cutters and playing with buttons are all great for working on fine motor skills. Placing the buttons onto the snowmen requires hand-eye co-ordination.

snowman play dough play - white, sparkly play dough recipe

Rosalie – 36 months

If you are looking for some more winter themed activities to do with your little ones, then do follow my Pinterest board.

I have very recently started a Facebook page for Picnics in the Rain and would love it if you’d stop by and give me a like! I’ll be sharing lots of interesting content and play ideas from a variety of bloggers, to help you nurture imagination and curiosity in your toddlers too.

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