Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Playing with warm snow balls - how we got our autistic son to have a snowball fight

Autistic Anthony in the snow

Fighting and rough play is something I'd usually associate with my autistic kids.  Both Anthony and David crave physical contact, and Anthony in particular is a bit participate in any sort of play fighting, whether that's with lightsabers, bop gloves or plain old rough and tumble adventures. Except of course when it came to snow ball fights, "I can't mum, I get too cold."

It's fair enough - most kids get cold hands when they play with snow, but there's something pretty magical about it too. Yesterday, the snow was big and fat, and managed to lay on the ground for a good few hours.  As Jane came through the front door she ran straight through to the back door to get into the garden.  She was desperate to play, but her older brother, Anthony, was adamant. He was not going out in the cold.

Anthony's body interprets temperature differences a bit differently to me and Jane.  Part of his autism manifests in difficulty with temperature.  He won't get in a bath if it's not a good temperature for him, and when it comes to snow - he's excited about how it looks but not necessarily about touching it. Put simply, he feels the cold to a point that could be considered painful.

But, instead of sighing about the fact that one child is desperate to play with the other in the snow and can't, I had an idea.  I made warm snowballs.

SnoBall mix

You read that right... although it would be more accurate to say I made warm Snoballs from Zimpli Kids.  Zimpli make lots of sensory play products that can do things like turn your bath into a slime  or and jelly bath and one of the things they make is fake snow for snowball fights.  It's a small pack of powder that you add just over a litre of water to.  The powder then expands and turns into white 'snow' that you can mould into snoballs.

I had a look at the instructions and figured I could probably add warm water instead of just cold water out the tap and that's what I did.  Voila, warm snoballs.

I had the battlepack which comes with four pouches of powder - but I used one pouch each for Jane and Anthony.  It expands quite a lot so I made some in a pig saucepan and some in one of my baking bowls.  The kids stood in the garden with a bowl of 'sno' each and had a brilliant time making warm snoballs and throwing them at each other.

Snoball fight

No gloves required.  No cold hands.  No cold splats.  It's irritant and stain free too so I didn't have to worry about their skin or clothes.  Thankfully no one tried to eat it.  Some got into the house when I opened the back door, which I just cleared up with up a dustpan and brush - it's very slippy if you don't get it all.  And the rest in the garden just degrades so can just melt away with the real snow when it goes.

And best of all, my kids played in the snow for ages. Of course the great thing is they could do this any time of year, but given the weather over the last 24 hours, I'm glad I've still got two packs left!



Zimpli Kids sent us some of their products to try for purposes of review. 
 We've used and loved these as above and are happy to include in our editorial.

9 comments:

  1. This is a brilliant idea, I would never have thought of warm snowballs #brillblogs@_karendennis

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  2. This is a brilliant idea, I would never have thought of warm snowballs #brillblogs@_karendennis

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  3. I know how Anthony feels, I think I feel snow to the point of pain too! I felt a bit of a meanie saying to the girls not to get their gloves too wet, but I am all too aware of the effect I feel in the cold. This sounds like a brilliant sensory alternative for a child with autism...or a Mum who hates cold!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub - enjoy the snow x

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  4. What a lovely, imaginative solution to a problem that enables everyone to join in and enjoy the snow. :)

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  5. What a great idea for allowing the whole family to take part in the fun of the snow. Shows how sometimes little adjustments can make a huge difference. This has really warmed my heart.

    #kcacols

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  6. Well who knew you could make warm snowballs. It's a great way to all the children involved! #kcacols

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  7. What a great way to get him involved #KCACOLS

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  8. This is a brilliant idea, and who knew you could make snowballs warm. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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  9. Fabulous idea for our sensory sensitive kids and fun for the whole family #winwin ��xxx

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I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

What is Autism?
It's so much I couldn't possibly try and explain. For us it's wonderful and heart-breaking. Joyous and truthful. But as far as diagnosis is concerned, why not have a look at the National Autistic Society for their definition of Autism.
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