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 I have been obsessed with Modern Parent Messy Kids' Indoor Snowman activity since I first laid eyes on it.  Since I like to put my own spin on things, I thought I'd experiment a bit and see if I couldn't come up with a dough that would also work for building snowmen.  I so enjoyed Learn Play Imagine's Erupting Candy Corn Foam Dough at Halloween that I was inspired to make a dough that would also erupt.  About 12 iterations later, I had developed an erupting super foaming dough that I was really excited about.  We've played with it a LOT since then.  Here's the first of our activities using it!

Here's our cute little snowman.

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

Uh oh... S has started the melting/foaming reaction.  He's lost his nose!

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

And now his head.  It's almost all over for him.

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

In the place of the snowman, there's now a giant pile of icy cold frothy foam to play in!

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

This was maybe the fifth snowman she demolished.  She had so much fun.  It was pretty hilarious to watch her squeal with delight as the foam erupted and bits and pieces of the snowman became no more.

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

Once he's completely demolished, you have to search like a raccoon with your hands through that icy foam to rescue all his bits and pieces.  So you can make yet another snowman, of course.

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids
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To make your own Magic Foaming Snowman, you'll need the following:
Baking Soda
Dish Soap (aka Washing Up Liquid)
Salt
Vinegar
Waterproof accessories

First let's talk about the accessories.  Anything waterproof will work fabulously.  We used black brads for his eyes, and then I made a carrot nose out of orange foam (I glued it using hot glue to make a 3D carrot).  I also cut pieces to make a little top hat out of black foam and hot glued them together.  We grabbed two skinny little twigs from outside and we were ready to make our Foaming Dough!
In a bowl or other container, measure out two cups of baking soda and add 2 Tablespoons of salt.  Mix throughly (little hands are very good at this).  Add 1 tsp soap and mix it into the dough well.  The dough should look crumbly.  Next add 8 Tablespoons of water.  If your dough will form a ball, you're all set.  If it's still too dry and crumbly add water 1 Tablespoon at a time until you have a dough that molds into a ball.  It will not feel like playdough - it's more smooshy and crumbly than that.  But it should form into and hold a ball.

Make and decorate your snowman and once you're ready to transform him into a mound of icy cold foam, add your vinegar!  It works best (i.e. creates the most foam) if you add a lot of vinegar at once.  A squeezy bottle works best, but if you don't have one of those, pouring a cup filled with vinegar on him will also create a foamy explosion!

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

If you'd like to add color to your snowman, you definitely can.  Add food coloring or liquid watercolors to the baking soda in the very first step and mix well before following the recipe as usual.  We felt like going for a traditional snowman, but colored foaming dough is also a blast!

{New Recipe} Foaming Dough you can use to make Magic Foaming Snowmen that "melt" into an icy puddle of frothy foam!  From Fun at Home with Kids

UPDATE:  With the wild success of Disney's movie Frozen, my awesome friend Stephanie pointed out that I should show how easily our Magic Foaming Snowman can become a Magic Foaming Olaf!  I used foam sheets as above to make Olaf features and here he is:

For the FROZEN fans - a Magic Foaming Olaf!  Make Olaf out of Foaming Dough then melt him down to a frothy ice cold foam.  You can use more dough to make him again!  Lots of silly fun!  From Fun at Home with Kids


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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. What a great idea! I can't wait to try it with my boys! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Donna! I hope they have a blast with it!

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  2. Would koolaid work in place of the vinegar?

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    1. I believe it will! I didn't try it to compare - but it shouldn't be a problem. To make sure you get maximum foam, I'd make the Kool Aid pretty concentrated. Let me know if it works! :)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Trisha! I ran lots of trials to get the best foam - I think my husband thought I'd lost my marbles. ;)

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  4. So cool, Asia!! I totally want to play with this!

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    1. Thank you, Ann! All the adults erupted/melted a snowman too. We couldn't resist. :)

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  5. This is so cool! We'll definitely try this also. I pined it for future reference and can't wait to do it with the kids.

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    1. Thank you, Angela! I hope that your kiddos enjoy it as much as mine did!

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  6. Love, love, love this -- and I know my son will too. We'll definitely be trying this over our Christmas break. :)

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    1. Yay!!!! Thank you, Mary Catherine! I know you love baking soda and vinegar just as much as we do. Hope you guys have a blast with it! The more vinegar you add at once, the more dramatic the foaming. :)

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  7. Aw so cute! This looks super fun.

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  8. Too much fun! I'm pinning this to remind myself later :D

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  9. Making this a kit for family gift, each member having supplies to make their own.

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  10. Is there a way to use the same dough over again?

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    1. No, unfortunately baking soda and vinegar is a one way reaction (because you can't add back the gas that was released). But the recipe above was enough for us to make 3-4 snowmen.

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  11. Oh I love the idea! We will set some winter activities for next 2 months and try this one for sure :) The only problem is my son doesn't like the smell of vinegar - we tried it when made hatching dinosaurs eggs....hope melting snowman is so much fun he will forget about vinegar's smell ;)

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    1. Thank you, Anik! We have vinegar free hatching dinosaur eggs here on the blog if you're interested:
      http://www.funathomewithkids.com/2013/10/diy-bath-bombs-magic-hatching-dinosaur.html
      We've also had success adding one drop of peppermint extract to mask the vinegar scent - it smells awesome! I hope that helps! :)

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  12. Thank you....I can't wait to try this one

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    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been! :)

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  13. Hi :) after "melting" your snowman, did you pour off the vinegar and re-use the same "snow" to make another snowman? ---tina

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    1. Hi Tina! Unfortunately baking soda + vinegar only works once. The reaction changes the chemical structure of the baking soda and the snow won't behave the same (hold together or erupt again). I wish it were reusable!

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  14. Yay for Olaf!!! He looks so accurate too :). I'm so glad you added him to this awesome post!!

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    1. Hahaha - thank you, Katie! We haven't seen Frozen, but Google Images helped me out. :)

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  15. WE ARE TOTALLY DOING THIS FOR FROZEN DAY AT ART CAMP TOMORROW!!! I'm so excited I had to use all caps ;)

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    1. YAYAYAYAYAYAY I HOPE THEY LOVE IT!!!!!!

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  16. Do you think I could make the snowman and wrap as a Christmas gift? Would it last?

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    1. The dough is very soft and pliable, so I don't know that it would stay in snowman firm if you were moving it around. It would probably get a bit smooshed, unfortunately.

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  17. Can you make these ahead of time to give as a gift?

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    1. You can make the dough ahead of time. We gave some to a friend as a present - we sealed it in an airtight container and added a note that said to use it within 3 days for best results. Hope that helps! :)

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  18. This idea made my day!!! Can't wait to use it with my class! !!!

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    1. Awesome! We think these are so fun - I hope you all have a blast!!!!!

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    2. My great grand daughter is coming over Sunday and I was looking for something we could do and then I saw this. This just looks like the perfect thing. I just have to find some accessories. I think she will have a blast. Thank you.

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    3. So fun! I hope you both have a fantastic time! What an amazing great-grandmother you are!!!!

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  19. This looks fun! One question - is baking soda the same thing as baking powder?
    (and thanks for all the excellent fun things to do at home!)

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    1. Thank you! Nope, it's a different thing. If you live outside the US, baking soda might be called sodium bicarbonate. If you live in the US its the stuff that comes in the box rather than the tiny canister (and it's the one that's cheaper!). :)

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  20. Can the dough be used again after the vinegar is poured?

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    1. No, the baking soda and vinegar reaction only works one time. Sorry!

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  21. We did this today as we have no snow and it's too cold to go outside (a sad winter for her since snow is her favorite) We both had a blast and we used all organic ingredients (even dish soap) to the same effect as the original recipe! Thank you so much for these awesome and boredom killing ideas.

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    1. Hooray!!! So glad to hear it! :) :) :)

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  22. Thank you for sharing this! We did it for Toddler Storytime at the library yesterday (with pink glitter mixed in for Valentine's Day) and the kiddos loved it! May I share your recipe with our parents? I'll make sure to put your blog address on it.

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    1. Hi Leah! So glad to hear it (and what a fun storytime!!!). So long as you don't use any of my photos and cite my blog, that's fine by me. :) I also have a book that has the recipe (and tons more) - it might even be at your library!!!

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  23. I included this in my Christmas in July roundup. This was the most exciting thing we tried.

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    1. Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it - it's one of our favorites!

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  24. Hi, what a great idea! What's the purpose of the salt? Is it just to help with the consistency of the dough? Thanks!

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    1. It helps the bubbles spread out so there's a bigger mountain of foam. :)

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  25. Do we need to rinse the container between snowmen or does the vinegar react enough with the first one that we are good to pop in another? I'm thinking of a pre k class party and it would be quicker to not have to rinse between snowmen.

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    1. No need to rinse, but you'll want a bucket you can dump the melted snowman-vinegar mess into between kiddos. :)

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  26. Does anyone know the science behind this?

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    1. Yes - what details do you want to know? It's an endothermic (which is why it feels cold) reaction between baking soda and vinegar. It gives off water, sodium acetate, and carbon dioxide gas. The soap traps the gas inside making bubbles.

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  27. Oh boy did we ever just have fun!! I had my boys do the snow men but then I had the build volcanos (thank you Costco sized ingredients for letting us have multiple runs). I used a syringe to inject some elderberry syrup into the center of the volcanos out of sight then they squirted vinegar into the hole and over the top. The lava (elderberry syrup) bubbled out as expected.

    Then they played with the new slop for quite awhile while I tried to clean up a bit. Before we got rid of the slop though, I busted out the PH strips and we tested water, baking soda (with water to make it testable), vinegar, then each of their bowls of slop. Someday the 8 year old will remember that I tried to explain PH to him so while I think most of it went over his head today, it's in there ready to bubble up when he needs it in chemistry class someday.

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