Mixed-Media Snowman



If 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…



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  • Rina

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

  • Rhonda Baldwin

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

  • Laurie

    Thank you for giving us those great ideas for our snow-people.Your pictures were amazing.We loved them. Happy New Year!What a really good idea.That was an awesome idea. I like your background. We also like the snow-people and how you did it. I like the colours you did. I liked the materials you used for the snow-people. From Mrs. Morgan’s grade 1 Class.

  • shean

    I do a version of this but call it snow people not trying to be politically correct it’s just that I found the kids get more creative making various versions. Also, I use the Raymond Briggs video of The Snowman (different shape than what we’re used to with circles), especially the North Pole party with all the different snow people. Lastly, students were very fond of final step of dabbing on glue with gluesticks, and cutting tiny pieces of white (or colored) paper all over making “snow”. This really appealed to the kids who LOVE to cut.

  • Tonia Armstrong

    Question: What is the height of the overall project? Why do you cut the 18 x 24 paper into 3 strips when you are going to glue the snowman onto this paper or am I misunderstanding the directions? Please help.

    • avery

      The 3 cut pieces are used to build the snowman. The overall background sheet should just be left as is at 18 x 24.

      You can always use what you have on hand and makes the project easiest for you! 🙂

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