Is it too cold to go outside? Winter is a great time to build a friendly snowman, but sometimes the weather just does not want to cooperate. Turn regular modeling clay into a glittery snowy surprise! Explore shape and form with this wintery art activity that encourages young children to learn about the artistry of sculpture. Build a traditional three sphere snowman, or go for an alternative option such as snow cube people or stretched snowmen.
Creating Sparkle Snowmen will help your child to learn about art as well as basic math concepts such as shape, size measuring, and counting. Add in math vocabulary words such as geometry, sphere, and cube for an extra special lesson!
What You Do:
- Begin molding and bending the clay with your hands. Have your child pour some of the glitter onto the clay. Allow him to mix the glitter in by molding the clay further.
- Choose a starting shape, either round spheres or square cubes. Ask your child to build three sizes of the chosen shape. These should be small, medium, and large.
- Have your child stack the shapes in size order with the largest on the bottom. If the clay will not stick together insert a toothpick all the way through from the top.
- Add two toothpicks as arms.
- Use a small amount of clay to create eyes and a nose.
- Create a hat and scarf for the snowman. This can be done using extra clay or with fabric scraps that have been cut to size. Use a small amount of clear drying, non-toxic glue to secure.
- Paint specific parts of the snowman such as his eyes, nose, or hat. For an extra embellishment try adding extra glitter to the paint.
After making these geometry inspired snowmen, try something a bit different. Create a stretched snowman form out of craft wire by bending it into different shapes. Cover the wire with glittered modeling clay and paint as needed.
Erica Loop has an 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.