Tuesday 22 January 2019

Preparing our autistic kids for snow

It's nearly the end of January, and as our eldest proclaims "It might snow soon."  Like many autistic kids, Anthony thinks mostly in black and white, but the weather isn't always compliant.  Over the years he's come to realise that snow in our country is more rare than where his cousin lives in the USA and he confirms that his best chance of having some is late January.  So as snow is a rarity, and my autistic kids fear the unknown, how can I help my kids get ready for it? 

What does it look like?

There's really little that's like snow.  Most kids engage with visuals and ours engage with media such as TV's and iPads so think about what you can use.    We've watched several David Attenborough shows about penguins, polar bears and artic foxes (my favourite).   

We've made penguin cupcakes, sprinkled icing sugar snow on top of Gruffalo's Child pancakes and stomped our Stick Man family craft through flour.  Our eldest son also likes using the weather app on our phone. We've added some cities to it where it snows including Chicago and Moscow.  All to immerse ourselves in the idea of snow.

What does it feel like?

Yep, it's cold. Holding ice pops may seem like an odd thing to do in Winter but it's a great way to understand what snow might feel like.  You can even pop on gloves.  Get ready by making sure all the kids cold and wet weather gear fits.  Whether it's our favourite roll top wellington boots that stops Anthony's feet from slipping or our water and windproof wooly hats and socks, get it on. We've also got counting on gloves, which have times tables on the fingers.  These are fun are tie in numbers which our kids love with keeping their fingers warm! This will let them know what they might wear if they do get to play with snow. 

It's also difficult to walk in.  Think about times when it's been slippy before and talk about it. We also practice walking while holding on to each other for safety. 

How do we play with it?

Zimpli Snoballs

There's really nothing like playing with snow but, Snoballs might give kids a good idea.  Snoball sets are made by Zimpli and simply need you to add water to a powder for the 'snow' to grow.  It can be moulded like snow into snowballs and played with in the garden for practice.  

The colder you make the water to mix with, the more like real snow it will be.  It's also a great way to introduce kids to the idea of a snow ball fight - you could try using warm water to start with so they get used to the game without initially feeling the shock of the cold.  Some kids especially those with sensory processing difficulties might find extreme temperatures challenging so this is a good tactic.  Our kids loved playing with Zimpli Snoballs and it makes it possible for them to play when a touch of snow does come down. 

How do you prepare for snow?

We were sent some products to try for purpose of review and are happy to include them in our post.


  1. the snoball sets sound like a good idea, how does Anthony cope if it doesn't snow?

    1. Great question. He's much better with understanding that the weather doesn't always do what we think it does. He does however complain about the weather app saying it's managed to 'get it wrong again!'

  2. Must be tough as the weather can be so unpredictable, even the most accurate reporting gets it wrong. Hope it snows for him this year. #kcacols

  3. This sounds like such a great idea. My kids ask for snow every year, but it only snows around once every 2 years. #KCACOLS

  4. We loved the Zimpli snowballs. And as you say, they are a great sensory tool. But we are never properly prepared for the real thing! LOL #KCACOLS

  5. Oh this sounds like a wonderful ideas and a great way to get prepared. I love getting creative!

  6. I like the look of the snoballs. My kids always seem to blame me if it doesn't snow if the weather has forecast it to.

  7. Some fab ideas here! That snowball set looks like fun, might invest in some for myself, haha! #KCACOLS

  8. that Zimply snow looks really good. A great indoor activity too! #kcacols

  9. It's great that you can do sensory activities to prepare him, I love the snow to look at but hate the actual practicalities of it if we're not in school holiday time #KCACOLS

  10. I'd never really thought about it before, but it must be hard to explain what snow is like! #KCACOLS

  11. I never thought about how they might not cope with snow! lovely post #KCACOLS
    Sarah | Mummykind

  12. I hope you got to enjoy the snow! We rarely get it where we are as we live by the sea #KCACOLS

  13. Thank you for sharing this. I never thought how the unpredictability could effect one with autism, and I feel bad about that. Thank you for putting me more in the know. And as I look outside my snowy window(Philadelphia, PA), I wish I could package some up and send it your way. #kcacols xo


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