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My daughter is 3 years old and she eats snow at kindergarten. And not even white snow, but dirty gray snow. She told me she does so because other children do it and because their leader allows them to do so.

How can I convince her that eating gray snow is not a good idea?

The group leader thinks it is OK, so I do not think she will stop my daughter from eating the snow.

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One reason grey snow might be preferred is that it probably has a little salt in it.

I would take this as an opportunity for fun. Take her out with a bowl and show her how to "collect the best eating snow" using the same tone and excitement that you might use when showing her how to pick vegetables in the garden. Find untouched snow and show how to scrape off the top layer.

Then bring it and make snow-cream! Do several small bowls with different formulations and make it a taste test. Experiment with salt perhaps?

Now empowered with this new maturity and refined taste, she will go to school and make good snow eating choices! Maybe even teach that silly leader and her peers a few things.

I hope this helps. This is my favorite approach with my son -- throw creativity and positive attention at the solution.

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    "Don't do that!" often is harder to maintain than "If you are going to do that... do this other stuff first/too." – user26011 Mar 21 '18 at 22:50
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    I like this answer. I would restrict it to fresh-ish snow, though. This article discusses the safety of snow, which we all ate, and survived, in a slightly less polluted world. :) So You Want To Eat Snow. Is It Safe? We Asked Scientists – anongoodnurse Mar 22 '18 at 3:41
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    First I facepalmed reading this, then I laughed because it is a really useful answer. My 3 year old is fascinated by the snow and has taken to trying to put in her mouth (from her shoes, from the ground, the stuff that falls off the shoes on the floor when coming indoors, etc.). This is a great approach. – user20343 Mar 22 '18 at 19:22
  • Just stay away from yellow snow.... – Namphibian Mar 29 '18 at 10:10
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At 3 years of age, I would expect their teacher to supervise their play times outside. Is the 'group leader' a teacher/ responsible adult or is she one of the kids ? You should definitely speak with the person in charge saying this is not a good idea because of health reasons. They should consider the parent's preferences on what's allowed for their child (irrespective of their own opinion on if this is good/bad).

Meanwhile, ask you daughter if she really likes the taste of snow or if she's eating it because all her friends do it. If she likes the taste, tell her you would get it for her at home. Explain to her it is wrong to eat dirty snow and it's as bad as eating any food which fell on the ground. "Would you lick water which fell on the floor ? "Eww, no !" "Snow is like water, it's on the ground and it's dirty".

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    I would be careful about asking if she would lick water off the floor... at that age, the kid may grin and say "YES!" – Layna Mar 22 '18 at 6:48

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