Do you want to build a snowman? Then this activity tray is perfect! Toddlers and preschoolers can build their own snowmen from scratch over and over again, switching up the parts and accessories each time. It’s a great fine motor activity, and a wonderful way to put in a snowy or rainy morning. Just see how they respond when you sing out “Hey kids! Do you want to build a snowman?”
Over the weekend, I put together this snowman activity tray for the hooligans, and I couldn’t wait for then to get here this morning, and try it out! The idea for this activity came to me Friday afternoon, when a reader commented on the black bean “eyes” on the toilet roll snowmen we made a few years ago. I got thinking about those snowmen with the beans and fabric scraps, and soon enough I was raiding my craft cupboards for bits and pieces that I could make a snowman activity with.
I really like how creative and open-ended this activity is, and how it’s never the same thing twice. It kind of reminds me of Mr. Potato Head that way; the parts are always the same, but the possibilities are endless depending on how you mix and match them.
Ok! Let’s put this activity together for YOUR kids, and then I’ll show you the fun that the hooligans had with ours.
What I used to make my snowman activity tray:
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- sectioned tray
- cotton cosmetic pads or white craft foam circles
- small lengths of ribbon, trim, fabric etc.
- Craft foam or cardstock or felt (for hats)
- dried black beans
- plastic ice crystals
- orange felt (cut into “carrot noses”)
- small twigs
I placed everything into the tray, and set it on the table along with several styrofoam meat trays (always sterilize your meat trays in the dishwasher before using them for crafting or play). I also placed a thin fleece blanket on the table. It had a kind of “felt board” effect, and kept the pieces from sliding around.
The oldest chose to work within the defined frame of the styrofoam tray,
while the youngest preferred working directly on the table-top.
The middle hooligan loved simply collecting all of the bits and pieces and stacking and piling them in her tray.
There were so many choices to make when it came to colours, shapes and patterns so the girls really got to exercise their decision-making skills!
For the youngest hooligans, there was much experimenting with the placement of their shapes; learning how to stack their snowballs, and where to place their snowman’s clothing and features. For the preschooler, it was more about “styling” her snowman, and creating different looks with the various buttons, hats and scarves.
This snowman activity also tests fine-motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Picking up and manipulating tiny objects like the buttons, beans and twigs in our tray are great ways to develop those skills.
This really was a huge hit here. The girls played with it off and on all morning. It’s a great indoor winter activity, and a fun way to keep the kids entertained AND learning. Let us know if you try this at your place! Better yet, share a picture on my Facebook wall if you do!
You can find all of our easy and inexpensive Christmas crafts and activities on my Hooligans Xmas pinboard!
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