Thursday, November 22, 2012

Insta-Snow® is Great for Indoor Activities!

Hello. I’m Regina Eardley, Discount School Supply® Account Manager for South Texas. I’ve been working with children and art for more than 15 years, and I have found many art materials that children really enjoy. But I think that Insta-Snow® creates Insta-Fun!

Even if the weather outside isn’t frightful, you will find Insta-Snow® (SNO) delightful! As an educator I have found so many wonderful things to do with this product. And it’s something that can be adaptable for students of most ages and abilities.
This polymer product comes in a powder form and when mixed with water grows to more than one hundred times its size to create a wonderful sensory product with the look and feel of real snow. I use the twist-top Nancy™ bottles (NANTWS) filled with approximately 4 ounces of cold water and about ½ scoop of the powder to produce about two cups of snow. You can use water at room temperature, but if you use cold water it really feels like snow. I love the reaction of someone touching it for the first time. I hear comments like, “Oh, it’s really cold to the touch!” or “It really feels like snow!”

There are many fun ways to incorporate Insta-Snow® into your daily lessons. I love lessons that can cross curriculum areas such as math, science, language arts, geography and art. Here are some of the things I have done with students. To begin, I have two students paired at a 14” x 8 1/2” tub. I like the translucent bins with lids in clear (BBCL, BBLCL) or aqua (BBCA, BBLCA). One student will measure out 1/4 scoop of Insta-Snow® powder. The second student will hold his hands cupped together over the bin. The powder is poured into the second student’s hands along with about 2 ounces of water from the twist-top Nancy™ bottle. After the snow has formed, we repeat the process, allowing the students to switch roles. This gives each student an opportunity to measure the substance and feel the chemical change taking place in her hands. When both students have completed the process, I have them repeat it. But this time, instead of using plain cold water in the Nancy™ bottles, fill them with one of two primary colors of Liquid Watercolor™: red, blue, or yellow. For example, one student may use blue and the other student may use yellow. When they each add their colors, the snow will begin to turn green because blue and yellow make green. They have just completed both a science lesson on chemical change and an art lesson on color-mixing.

We take the project a step further by putting a lid on the container. The bins have a nice slot for an index card, so I like to label the bins with the student’s name and the date on which we did the project. We set the bins on a shelf in the room, and each day we graph how long it takes to begin to see condensation on the lid. We discuss absorption and how the water is separating from the powder. This is a great way to introduce academic language and teach basic math graphing skills.

During the weeks we are watching the condensation, we may also introduce a literacy lesson and read stories with a snowy setting or write a story or poem about snow. We many also look at our classroom maps or globes and discuss regions that get snowfall and those that don’t.

In South Texas, my students don’t see snow frequently, and, if they do, it is usually very short-lived. This product offers an exciting, interactive way to experience snow, and it is an opportunity to develop knowledge across the curriculum. Insta-Snow® comes in two economical sizes including a 100 gram jar or a 454 gram class size, and it can be found in the science section of our catalog or on our website at

So, if you are looking for a great hands-on activity for the classroom, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…Insta-Snow®, that is! Your students will love it.

* originally published on 1/12/12

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Colorations® Wheat and Gluten Free Dough Helps Children with Food Allergies!

Hi! My name is Allison Craig, I am the Customer Product Advisor, and I have worked at Discount School Supply® for 16 years.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my position is to help parents and caregivers find products to meet their child’s needs due to allergies.

According to the Asthma, Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 6% of allergy sufferers have food/drug allergies as their primary allergy. Food allergy is more common among children than adults, and 90% of all food allergy reactions are caused by only eight foods: milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Discount School Supply® has many products to meet the needs of children with food allergies. Discover them all on the Discount School Supply® website at Common-Allergen-Free products.

My personal favorite allergen-free product is Colorations® Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough (COLORDO). It comes in a 5 ½ lb. bucket with eight individually-wrapped, assorted vibrant colors. It is soft, pliable, long-lasting, easy to clean up, and it works well with all of our clay tools.

Colorations® Wheat & Gluten Free Dough is perfect for the classroom or at home. It can be used with children young and older, so, no matter the age, it provides hours of fun for all. Plus, it’s so affordable! You just can’t go wrong with this great dough. It’s an excellent sensory tool, and it’s great for developing fine motor skills. It also promotes problem-solving and social skills when children are sitting at the table together, sharing ideas and discussing creative options.

So sit down and have some fun with our Colorations® Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough!

Be sure to visit us online at Discount School Supply® and check out all of our Common-Allergen-Free products.

Watch our video for more information:
* originally published on 3/8/2012