Indoor snowmen for a snowy day

Grandparents Teach, Too

Perfect high moisture snow doesn’t occur often enough for very young children’s enthusiasm for snowmen. Here’s a simple activity for snowmen that doesn’t require a snowstorm and doesn’t melt.

You’ll need: A play dough recipe, toothpicks, white craft glue, dried beans, piece of cardboard, pipe cleaners or sticks, small scrap of fabric or colored paper, and small ripped white paper for snow.

Indoor snowmen

Shape the play dough into three balls — small, medium and large. Stick a toothpick halfway into the largest ball. Press the medium-sized ball onto the toothpick. Stick another toothpick into the medium ball. Press the smallest ball onto that toothpick for the head of the snowman. Break the toothpick in half if it is too long.

Squeeze a drop of glue onto the beans. Press them into the snowman for eyes, nose and mouth. Place the snowman on a piece of cardboard and allow it to dry completely. Add arms with small pieces of pipe cleaners and tie a scrap of fabric around the neck for a scarf. You can shred small pieces of computer paper to glue on the base for a snow scene.

Discuss the attributes of a snowman and especially small, medium, and large. What does it look like? How many snowballs are needed? How are they placed on the snowman? Sing or teach the “Frosty the Snowman” song while building your snowman or turn on music found on YouTube.

“Frosty the Snowman” and other wintertime books are on display at your public library or bookstore.

Play dough recipe

This play dough recipe takes 10 minutes to make and doesn’t dry out in an air tight plastic bag. You will need: 1 cup four, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 1 cup water, (food colors, optional).

Mix all liquid ingredients and salt in a 3 quart sauce pan.

Turn on medium heat. Stir in flour and cream of tartar until the mixture sticks together and remove from heat. Cool slightly and knead. Store in plastic bag.

Preschool children love making scenes with small dolls, action figures, cars, and large Lego type blocks. For a change they can make a snow scene with play dough igloos, houses, and caves. Take out the small toys and see what their imagination creates. Then take out a Smart phone or movie camera and let them explain what they are doing or make up a story. The next time the family Skypes or does a Facetime the little ones will have something to share with grandparents.

Snow stories include: “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs; “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats; “First Snow” by Emily Arnold Mc Cully.

For more, see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning through the Seasons live and pod casts.