How to Develop Sodium Polyacrylate

by Leigh Wittman

Sodium polyacrylate, commonly referred to as SPA, is an ultra-absorbent polymer. Dry SPA can absorb up to 300 times its mass in water. Dry SPA looks like instant mashed potato flakes. When water is added to SPA it rapidly plumps and looks like snow. Wet SPA will maintain its moisture and snow-like appearance for three to five days. Only a few household items are required to make fake snow at home.

Cut open the seat of a disposable diaper to expose the SPA inside.

Scoop the SPA out of the diaper and into the bowl with a spoon.

Sprinkle salt on the SPA. The salt will reduce the amount of water the SPA is capable of absorbing. This step will ensure you make delicate, fake snow and not mushy sludge, which is the result when SPA absorbs too much water.

Add 2 tbsp. of water to the bowl. Stir the SPA. The SPA will nearly instantaneously plump up and resemble snow when it comes into contact with the water. Add water 1 tbsp. at a time until you reach the desired consistency if you want thicker, less powdery fake snow.

References

  • "Hands on Crafts for Kids: 20-Minute Crafts"; Kathie Stull; 2002
  • "The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!"; Tom Robinson; 2001

Photo Credits

  • jaroszpilewski/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Leigh Wittman has been writing professionally since 2007. She writes primarily on health, career advice, outdoor pursuits and travel for various websites. Wittman is a licensed nurse and studied nursing at Arizona State University.