There are so many fun ways to paint a snowstorm, I couldn’t settle on just one! So instead, you get my rambling brainstorm of the many ways to paint a snowstorm! With each method, I like to start them out with a background picture, the scene behind the storm. I may have them color something with crayons or provide geometric shapes cut out of construction paper for them to glue on to create houses (square+triangle), trees (triangles), or even snowmen (circles). You could also cut out scenery pictures from travel magazines. Of course, you can also just paint the snow, particularly with younger children. For many children, the fun is just in controlling the storm, so the background doesn’t really matter much. Just be sure to use colored construction paper for each of these methods, so that the snow will show up! Darker colors like blue, gray, and black show the snow even more dramatically!
Epsom Salt! Here’s a fantastically scientific way to paint a snowstorm: Make a solution by mixing equal parts boiling water and Epsom salt (found in the pharmacy section of places like Wal-Mart, used for soaking sore tootsies) and stir well. You want to make sure the salts dissolve into the water. Use the solution to paint over your paper. As it dries, the dissolved salt will crystallize again, creating a frosty, snowy look! If you want a thicker snow paint, create your solution with more salt than water, dissolving as much as possible. The more salt you add, the thicker and more opaque your dried crystals will be! (As a warning here, make sure the kiddos don’t drink the solution as Epsom salt can also be used as a laxative……..You don’t want that.)
Stipple Paint! Use a stipple brush and white paint to “bounce” snow onto the pictures. You could also use snowflake or snowman stencils and stipple in the design.
Paint & Glitter! Paint with white paint and then shake iridescent glitter into the wet paint so that it dries with that fabulous sparkly snow look! (I’ve also tried mixing the glitter into the tempera paint, but the paint was too opaque and you couldn’t see much of the glitter, though it did create a more realistic snowy texture.)
Splatter Paint! First off, you know if the words “splatter” and “paint” are in the title of a preschool activity, you need to get ready with smocks, rags, drop cloths, and perhaps some goggles and rain gear if you have any of those really enthusiastic painters! Use white paint and toothbrushes to flick or splatter the snowy paint onto the picture. For a little more splatter control, place the pictures inside a plastic bin and have the children flick with the brush inside the bin. The edges should cut down on the stray splats. You can also cover the bin with window screening and have the children brush it with a toothbrush and white paint to create the splatters. This is a little easier than flicking with fingers for younger children.
Bubble Wrap! Use that bubble packing wrap leftover from your Christmas treasures and use it to make snow prints. Cut the wrap in smaller square sections. You may want to kind of create a handle to hold on to by pulling the corners together and wrapping with a rubber band. Dip the bubble wrap into white paint and press it onto the paper to print. The round bubbles creates huge snowflakes or snowballs!
Add Music! While creating snowstorm paintings, you may want to add a little music, like Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. You can listen to the music before your painting project. Talk about what the music sounds like and have the children describe the kind of snowstorm they envision. Challenge them to create the snowstorm they’re picturing in their minds when they hear the music. Play the music again as they paint! This type of activity not only enhances music awareness and creativity, but also language skills!
Snowstorm painting is a great way to explore and celebrate the winter season! It enhances creativity, small motor skills, as well as language and science skills as you talk about their creations and the properties of snow!
For more wintry activities, click here!
Top photo by jasonlemay.