The Truth About Snow Dough

I've seen tons of blog posts floating around Pinterest that feature this thing called Snow Dough. Many of the "recipes" differ slightly but the basic instruction is to mix something oil-based with corn starch.

After seeing it over and over and over again, we decided to make some of our own. After all, about 99% of our customers (and blog readers) have children. This sort of thing seem right up y'all's alley!

We decided to make a somewhat small batch to test it out. Throughout the process of making it and testing it, we had A LOT of comments to each other. So instead of bringing you a "here's how you make snow dough!" post, I'm instead bringing you a "the truth about snow dough" post. Take it for what it's worth and add your commentary if you have any.

diy snow dough

Basically you choose something oil-based (vegetable oil, lotion, baby oil, etc.) and mix it with corn starch. Add some glitter for a little extra sparkle if you'd like.

A couple sources caution the use of lotion because of the smells that fill the air and permeate your hands. Some sources say that the use of vegetable oil make the snow slightly yellow. A few people mention that they don't use baby oil because it is more expensive or they don't have any laying around.

We chose baby oil mostly because I hate the smell of most lotion and because yellow snow dough sounds gross!

Lesson Number One: Snow dough will have a slightly yellow tint even if you use clear baby oil. This is most likely caused from the use of CORN STARCH... which is made from CORN... which is yellowish. So no, you didn't do anything wrong. Looking at our photos you can see that it is mostly white though.

Lesson Number Two: If you don't like smells, look for something that says "unscented" on the package. I assumed that since my baby oil didn't specify a scent that it was unscented. You know what that say about assuming. If scents don't both you, this is no biggie.

diy snow dough

The measurements are not consistent around the web. We landed somewhere in the middle of most of the tutorials and used two 16 ounce cans of corn starch and about 10 ounces of baby oil. Plus some sprinkles of glitter.

Lesson Number Three: Unless you are heavy handed with the glitter, it really doesn't make much of a difference. I happen to HATE glitter so I only added 1-2 tablespoons. It showed up just fine, but it didn't make the "snow" look icy or magical or special.

Pour your ingredients into a VERY LARGE BOWL or plastic tub and knead it until it is mixed. This is where I started tilting my head in confusion.

Lesson Number Four: They call it "snow dough" because it has similar traits to SNOW. I mistakenly assumed that it was called "snow dough" because it had similar traits to DOUGH... and was white. Maybe I'm the only one who made that assumption, but it really threw me off. I feel like "dough" is not the most appropriate word for this stuff. I kept wondering when the magic was going to happen. When is this going to turn to dough? When can we play with it? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!?!

You're done mixing your dough whenever you don't have any clumps of oil or glitter in your bowl.

So I stood there messing with this smelly white powdery mess for a while and my coworker snapped pictures of the mess in my hands.

diy snow dough

It goes from powder to clump whenever you squeeze it. Please remember that it is NOT moldable dough. You can pat it together like snow and then break it apart by squeezing it or dropping it.

It was a very cold day and the heater was broken in the house, so it was a frigid 54 degrees in the kitchen. It wasn't too hard to pretend that it was actual snow!

To be honest, I was severely underwhelmed. I love a good, fresh batch of Play-Doh as much as the next adult, so I was pretty excited to test this out. After staring at the bowl of powder and each other for about ten minutes, we decided that maybe we aren't the target market for this craft... and maybe we should test it on actual children.

I brought the bowl home and put it on a large towel on the floor for my four year old to test.

Lesson Number Five: It is powder. (We have established that by now, right?!) So it can get a bit messy. It's also oil. So maybe don't get it on clothing. My son happens to be strangely awesome at not making a mess with things like this, but he still got some sprinkles on his clothes and the towel. This is why a BIG bowl of tub is very important. Give them room to play!

I thought he would play for about 3 minutes and then say, "Okay Mommy, I'm done with this." That's how I felt! But nope, he sat at that bowl for about FORTY FIVE MINUTES crumbling, pounding, smashing, digging, etc. He probably would have played longer but we had to go something. He kept commenting, "Mommy, I love this smell!" (Ha... Ha...) I played with him for the first five minutes or so to show him what it does. It made my hands feel amazing! Seriously, so moisturizing!

My husband walked by and wanted to test it. He started playing with it and was like, "Oh wow. Cool. This feels like... hmmm... it's a lot like playing with SNOW!" So there you have it. It IS like snow, it's just not like dough.

1. If your child can play without making a huge mess, this is a winner. Maybe even buy some cheap toys to add to the bowl. (Cars, spoons, cups, animals, etc.)
2. If you child is a mess maker, let them use it outside and in junky clothes.
3. If you are not a child, this may not be fun for you! 

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