(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information).
A few weeks ago we made snow people paint prints. This time we’re taking a more 3-D approach to art. Adding different dimensions and textures to art can turn what seems like just a cute little craft into a sensory adventure! While I’m all for focusing on the process when it comes to art-making, I like to remember that the activity itself can cross boundaries. For example, start with a book about snow or winter. These are a few of my favorites:
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
You can also add a science lesson in to the activity as well. Talk about states of matter and explore how a snowball (or mini snowman) melts when you bring it inside. Have your child observe the snow and then check back on it as it changes from solid to liquid. If you don’t have snow, try it with shaved ice. Ask your child a few open-ended questions such as:
· What do you think is happening to the snow/ice?
· Why do you think it’s turning from a solid to a liquid?
· How do you think the snow would act differently if we left it outside?
· What do you think would happen if we put the snow in the freezer?
As your child is working on the art-making aspect of the activity, ask her to use her sense of touch (and words) to tell you about how it feels. Use the word “texture”. Even toddlers can repeat the word and connect it to the sense of touch. This also helps to separate the word “feel” from emotional feelings. If you ask your 3-year-old how the snowman feels she may answer, “Happy!” I learned this lesson the first time that I taught a sensory unit to preschoolers and got 10 adorably cute responses to, “How does the carpet feel?” These included responses such as, “Sad, because people walk on it.” So, you can ask, “How does the snowman feel on your fingers?” or, “What is the snowman’s texture?”
Now for the winter-themed art project!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
· Cardboard – Reuse the front of an old cereal (or other) box
· A snowman-shaped cookie cutter
· Clear-drying school glue
· Cotton balls
· Googley eyes
· Modeling clay – Your child needs orange to make a carrot nose. You can use plain orange or mix red and yellow clay.
· Thin ribbon
Here’s What to Do:
1. Place the cookie cutter on the cardboard.
2. Squeeze glue onto the cardboard, inside of the cookie cutter. Your child can use one cotton ball to spread it out so that it reaches the edge of the cookie cutter pattern.
3. Press cotton balls on the glue, filling the shape. Your child can pull the cotton apart to fit the snowman shape. Let the glue dry
4. Remove the cookie cutter. Cut around the cotton balls.
5. Glue two googley eyes to the snowman’s face.
6. Roll a tiny piece of clay into a carrot shape. Glue the carrot to the face.
7. Cut a hat shape (a square with a thin rectangle underneath) out of the scrap cardboard.
8. Attach the hat to the top of the snowman with glue.
9. Add a scarf with a piece of thin ribbon and glue.
Your child can dress up her creation by gluing a feather to the snowman’s hat. You can leave the project as-is or have her add it to a winter weather or Christmas collage.
Are you looking for more winter activities? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!