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Santa’s Footprints by the Fireplace

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Santa, or St. Nick, visits our house early each year. It is a tradition in my family to celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 6th. Jolly Old St. Nick visits overnight and fills our stockings. Santa comes and just leaves a present under the tree on Christmas Eve. It’s a nice way to split up all of the loot and gives my girls a little holiday preview.MHM-santafootprints-3

I decided this year with all the snow on the ground, to have a little extra fun. I made St. Nick footprints from my front door (we don’t have a chimney) to our gas fireplace and stockings.

To do this activity, you will need fake snow, or Insta-Snow powder found at SteveSpanglerScience.com, craft stores and all over this time of year. Imitation snow comes in a dry, powder form. It fluffs up and becomes wet and cold when water is added. It feels like the real thing. With the right amount of hydration, you can even make snowballs with it.

MHM-santafootprints-1I began by cutting out an outline of my husband’s boot with construction paper.

I put the stencil on the floor and filled it with snow. Then I flipped it over to make the opposite footprint and filled it with snow. I did this across my floor to make it look like he had dragged snow in on his snowy boots.

After I had filled in all of my footprints, I determined that I had used too much snow. I filled each footprint with enough snow to cover the floor completely. They didn’t look completely real.

The next morning, the snow had partially dehydrated and the footprints looked more realistic.

You can also wrap up some Insta-Snow powder in a box and leave it under the tree Christmas morning. It can be a present from Santa – snow he took from the roof of his house in the North Pole. The elves made the snow “dry” so Santa can deliver it without it melting. The dry snow is magical and can puff back up to real snow with just some water. Put a small scoop of snow powder in your child’s cupped hands, and then pour a cup full of water on the powder. It will grow and expand and your child will ask to do it again. And again. Just make sure you make snow over a bowl or receptacle unless you want it all over your floor.

We have had several discussions in the Spangler offices about how to make the footprints. Some say to do it the way I did, and some say to do it in the reverse. Put a footprint on the floor and sprinkle snow around it instead of filling it in. You can experiment and determine which way looks more realistic. We’d love to hear your comments about what you think makes a good footprint.

Guest blogger Susan Wells is the mom to two girls, ages 4 and 8. She enjoys enriching her daughter’s education by finding the learning in everything. They especially enjoy science activities. She works as a blogger and social media strategist for Steve Spangler Science, a Colorado company dedicated to helping teachers and parents get children excited about science.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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Comments
  • comment avatar Jane December 13, 2009

    At both Centers where I volunteer, I did this last year and intend to do it again this year. Neither place has a fireplace, so their footprints came in through the front door, wandered around as if to look at the artwork, etc, displayed on the walls, came to the table where snow was left around a chair, left a little snow around a cookie plate, and then left. It took a while to create, but it was well worth it. Insta-snow is far more versatile than people might think, and it’s such a lovely way to help people of any age and ability BELIEVE.