Build a Snowman Activity Tray

If you’re looking for snowman activities for toddlers and preschoolers, I have a bunch, but I think my favourite is this simple snowman activity tray.

Kids 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 cold, snowy.   Just see how they respond when you sing out “Hey kids!  Do you want to build a snowman?”
Snowman activity tray

Over the weekend, I put together our snowman activity tray for the hooligans, and I couldn’t wait for then to get here this morning to 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 adorable snowmen which were made with tp rolls, beans, buttons and fabric scraps, and soon enough I was raiding my craft cupboards for bits and pieces that I could make a snowman activity with.

child building a snowman on a table top with craft scraps


I love how and open-ended this activity is, and how creative the kids can get with it.  No matter how many times they play with it, their creations are different every time.  It 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:

supplies for snowman activity tray

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I placed all of the snowman parts 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,

craft scraps snowman in a styrofoam tray


while the youngest preferred working directly on the table-top.

fine motor snowman activity

The middle hooligan loved simply collecting all of the bits and pieces and stacking and piling them in her tray. I love that she chose to explore and experiment with the pieces rather than build an actual snowman.

stacking and piling items from the snowman activity 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!

indoor snowman building activity

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.

snowman building indoor activity

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!

snowman parts on a fleece blanket

You can find all of our easy and inexpensive Christmas crafts and activities on my Hooligans Xmas pinboard!

Christmas - pinterest

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Happy Hooligans for kids crafts and activities from toddlers to preschoolers

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