Last month, I made an Advent calendar that I love and I know that it will be cherished for many years to come in our home; however, this month, I really wanted to do a project that was a bit easier and more accessible. As usual, my only real requirements were that my son had to be able to partake in it, and I already had to have the materials in our house. After thinking about how much Ryan loved making snowmen during one of our recent snow storms, I decided that a craft involving snowmen would be perfect.
After searching on Pinterest for a bit, I found two projects that I really loved. The first is a standard issue cotton ball snowman and the second was some really cool wall art. I loved the cotton ball snowman because I knew that my son would really be able to participate and as it turned out, he understood the concept much more than I imagined. It’s also good to note that this is a great sensory project for little ones – sticky glue, fluffy pompoms and scratchy glitter – all make for a really good time!
The second canvas wall art project that we did has become a bit of a tradition in our home. Our thermostat is a big, unsightly rectangle on one of the walls in our dining room and in order to hide it, I bought several canvasses on sale at Michaels. Every so often, I create new wall art on the canvasses with our son to match the passing seasons and holidays and hang them over the thermostat. Seeing that my guy is only 2 years old, I typically paint the background and then use Ryan’s hands or feet as ‘characters’ within the canvas – it’s a fun way to remember how tiny he once was!
These projects were short, sweet, and fun to do this month; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
SNOWMAN PROJECT IDEAS
QUICK & EASY COTTON BALL SNOWMAN
- One piece of construction paper for the background, any color (I chose blue, simply because I associate the color with January.)
- Orange construction paper (for the nose); Black construction paper (for the eyes, mouth, and hat)
- Cotton Balls
- Elmer’s Glue
- Googly Eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Glitter (totally optional, but I find glitter makes EVERYTHING better)
Step 1: Use the glue to draw the shape of a snowman on your construction paper; fill in the circles with glue. You can freehand this step or, if you’re less confident (like me!) draw the snowman on your paper with a pencil or crayon. The glue and cotton balls will cover up your lines. (Big kids who have a better handle on using glue could do this step on their own; I did it for my son, who will be 3 in March.)
Step 2: Add the cotton balls to the glue to make the snowman’s body.
Step 3: Time to add the details! For this step, you will need to cut out the nose from the orange construction paper, and the hat and mouth from the black. I would also recommend cutting the pipe cleaner in half. Gather these things, along with 2 googly eyes and 3 pom-poms (feel free to get as creative as you want here and totally glam up your snowman!). Use the glue to attach each part wherever your creative mind decides (Tiny tot modification: I put all of these materials on one plate, squirted a bit of glue on the plate, and gave Ryan 3 q-tips. Then I showed him how to dip the Q-Tip in the glue and then put the glue on the part he wanted to attach. This minimized the glue mess a lot.)
Step 4: Afterward, I had Ryan dip his Q-Tip in the glue and then dot his paper with glue. We “sprinkled” glue on the dots to create sparkly stars.
Step 5: Let your project dry thoroughly and admire!
- Canvas (the size is up to you; ours are 5×7)
- Craft Paint in the color of your choice
- White paint (craft paint, or even Crayola fingerpaint – whatever you have on hand!)
- Craft paints in various colors of your choice, but make sure you have black for the face and hat!
- Paint brushes
- Glitter or puff paint (optional)
- Your child (or children!) and another adult, if possible
Step 1: Paint the canvas in the color of your choice. (I like to also paint the edges so the color wraps around the canvas, but that is up to you.) Set on a piece of wax paper or on a jar to dry.
Step 2: When your canvas is dry, it’s time to make the body of your snowmen, which will be created using your child’s feet. I recruited my husband to help with this step; you can do it on your own, but the extra set of hands is helpful if you are doing this with a particularly young or wiggly child. Using your white paint, paint the bottom of your child’s foot (only do one at a time, or you might end up wearing a lot of the paint with flailing feet!) and press against your canvas. The most success has come when my husband holds the canvas steady with his hand on the back and I am in charge of Ryan’s foot. Press your child’s foot onto the canvas and gently press down, making sure to get their toes, too. Do this swiftly to prevent your child from smearing the paint by wiggling. Lift their foot from the canvas and immediately clean with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the other foot. Let the prints dry.
Step 3: Once the prints have dried, get creative! Using the paint, glitter, and puffy paint, give your snowmen faces and personalities with scarves, hats, buttons, etc. If you have multiple children, maybe try having their ‘snowprint’ reflect their personalities or interests. You can also add scenery to your background: snowflakes or stars or hills. Once you’ve decorated to your heart’s content, let your painting dry overnight.
Step 4: Hang your art and admire!