Mixed-Media Snowman

Collage-snowman-art-projectIf I had to choose my favorite snowman art lesson, it would be this one. The combination of skills: tracing, cutting, shading, drawing, pasting, composition, and painting checks off all of the standards but it was self-expression that really dialed this lesson up.  I love seeing children engaged in art projects. You know the look; head down, tongue sticking out the side of the mouth, paint-covered hands. When this happens, you know the project hit a good note. It helps to begin this lesson with steps and process, but allow the children to finish the embellishments without interference. This is what my first graders did…


Using long pieces of white sulphite paper (cut an 18″ x 24″ sheet into 3 panels of 8″ x 18″), children used puck tempera paints to create a background of their choice. We talked about the color of a snowman and determined that it was white, so if the background was white as well, the snowman might disappear. While this concept was appealing to some, most kids painted swirls, stripes, flowers, blobs and messes on their white sheet of paper.


Using another piece of 18″ x 8″ white sulphite paper, children drew a curved line that resembled a hill on the bottom part of their paper. This indeed, would become the bottom of their snowman. Placing a medium sized plastic container on top of the hill, the children traced a circle. Using a smaller plastic container (sometimes the opposite ends work well. I used ice cream containers), trace the head of the snowman. Make sure all of the elements do not touch. Cut out each snowman section.


We talked about gravity and how a ball sitting on top of another ball would just roll off. So to prevent this from happening to a snowman, the pieces must overlap. Glue these pieces to the background. Using oil pastels, draw facial features and stick arms. Using a light blue chalk pastel, create shadows along one side of the snowman.



Now comes the expressive part. Set out trays of painted paper, craft papers (I like to buy the big sets of decorative cardstock at crafts stores), buttons and yarn. Offer the children ideas, like how to fit a hat on the snowman’s head but otherwise, leave them alone. I used the book Snowballs by Lois Ehlert to serve as great collage samples.


First Grade Collage Snowman…




  1. Rina says:

    These are darling! I love the wide variety of embellishments – your snowmen have a lot of personality! Great job, first graders.

  2. Rhonda Baldwin says:

    Love it! I was looking for an idea for my K class as we come back from Christmas break. Thanks!

  3. [...] like my snowman mixed-media art lesson, this is the type of art lesson that children get very involved with. At one point during the [...]

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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