Today’s activity is inspired by The Truth About Comets by Dorothea Tanning. Learn more about this artwork here, then try your hand at creating a snowy sensory bin!
Take a moment to look at this painting. What do you see? Who’s in the painting? What are they doing there?
The artist, Dorothea Tanning, creates paintings about her dreams. In this snowy landscape, we see two young women standing near a tree. Look closely at them. What do you notice?
These mermaids are out of the sea and looking at the comets above. Why do you think the mermaids are interested in the comets? Have you seen a comet before?
Imagine if you could walk into this painting. How do you think it would feel to stand in the snow? What would you say to the mermaids? Where do you think the stairs lead to?
Step 1: Find an area on the floor where it is safe to make a mess. Place your bin on the ground with a cover underneath.
Step 2: Start by making sensory snow. Pour equal amounts of cornstarch and baking soda (1:1 ratio) into the bin.
Step 3: Mix the baking soda and cornstarch with your fingers. Loosen any clumps in the mixture.
Step 4: Next, add just enough water that when you squeeze some of the mixture in your hand, it forms a ball. Slowly add in the water until your fake snow looks just like real snow.
Sensory Snow Tip: It is important to add the water in slowly. If you end up with a mixture that’s too runny, simply add a bit more of the baking soda and cornstarch mixture.
Step 5: Place your play accessories in the sensory snow. Use measuring cups or spoons as digging tools. Make sure any play accessories you use are easy to clean with water afterward.
Step 6: Sensory bins make for fun and easy exploration which can be done in groups or alone. When the sensory exploration has ended, store the sensory snow in a reclosable bag or airtight container.
Sensory snow will last for 7-10 days in storage. Over time it will absorb moisture from the air and the consistency will change, but it is super easy to whip up a new batch of sensory snow!
Have fun exploring!
Written by Kim Ly, art instructor, Crystal Bridges.
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