Papier-Mâché Snowman Activity
This paper mache snowman is a unique winter craft for kids! If it's too cold to spend hours building a snowman outdoors, or if you live in a climate where it doesn't snow, stay indoors and make this cute paper mache snowman with your kids. Instead of freezing-cold snow, this activity uses fun (and messy!) art materials to build a cool sculptural creation that explores art in a three-dimensional form.
Your child will experiment with art materials and and the artistic process, think about form and the use of space, and develop valuable critical thinking skills. Help her to problem solve, reason, and imagine while creating a frosty masterpiece!
What You Need:
- Balloons (three for each snow person)
- White paper cut into strips
- Papier-mache paste (this can be storebought or mixed on your own)
- Pipe cleaners
- Recycled fabric scraps
- Buttons or paper circles
- Tempera paint
- Small sized paint brush
What You Do:
- Blow up three balloons for each snow person (your child will probably need assistance with this). Try to make the balloons different sizes for each section of the body and head.
- Help your child mix the papier-mache paste. Non-toxic papier-mache mixtures are available at most craft stores. If you would like to make your own using household items (such as flour and water), there are many free recipes available on the Internet.
- Have your child dip the paper strips into the papier-mache mixture and cover the balloons completely. Remind her that the balloons are just there to give structure to the snow person form, and will not be seen in the finished product. After the papier-mache has dried, the balloons will deflate inside of the sculpture, leaving behind round spheres.
- Ask your child to stack the covered balloons in order of size, with the largest on bottom. Make sure that this is done while the paper paste mixture is still wet. Additional papier-mache mixture may be needed to hold the pieces together.
- Use a piece or two of extra paper to create a carrot nose. Have your child fold the paper together and wet it with papier-mache paste. Encourage her to mold the wet paper into a carrot shape and attach it to the face of the snow person. This should dry before your child continues.
- Once the snow person is dry, your child can add arms with pipe cleaners, button eyes with glue, and paint the carrot nose orange!
- For an added effect, ask your child to design a scarf or clothing for the snow person using old fabric scraps.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.