Cotton balls aren’t just for removing nail polish anymore, friends! Rather, they’re the star of the show for cotton ball snowman art.
Cotton ball snowman art is “snow” cute
This sensory-rich art project isn’t a typical snowman craft.
Rather, this project is FLUFFY! Most of the time in the classroom when kids make art, it’s flat. They’re drawing and their final piece is flat, or they’re painting and their final piece is flat, or…
BUT WITH THIS? It’s raised. And it’s textured. AND it’s puffy and fluffy and three-dimensional and absolutely too much fun.
Related: Our giant 10-foot Winter coloring page is perfect for getting into the snowy spirit!
Why we love cotton ball snowman art
Picture this: kids gather around a table, each with a piece of blue paper in front of them. Above their heads, the adult slowly drops cotton balls on the table. The kids see the cotton balls and begin to shout, “It’s snowing!”
The kids are HOOKED.
Then, once the project gets to the gluing step, they hear the adult say, “For this part, you get to squeeze lots and lots of glue!” No “just a dot and not a lot” happening here.
The kids are now DROOLING.
Cotton ball snowman art has it all, folks!
Looking for more cotton ball activities?
- Cotton Ball Painting – The Chaos and The Clutter
- Cotton Ball Polar Bear Craft – Mombrite
- Cotton Ball Smash – Teaching Mama
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- Cotton balls
- Blue paper
- Googly eyes (optional)
- Small twigs (optional)
- Orange triangle for the nose (optional)
1. Draw a snowman: Begin by using a pencil to draw the outline of a snowman on your blue paper. BUT WAIT. If your kid draws, let them draw their own snowman! I like to demonstrate how to draw a snowman (three circles), followed by the kids making their own.
When I demonstrate, I also make “mistakes” as I go. For example, I’ll draw a line, then redo it alongside the first line. Narrate while you work, saying things like, “Okay, I am drawing the head…actually, I want that a little bigger so I’m going to make a bigger curve…” This self-talk shows kids that the steps taken to achieve a final result are an important part of the process.
Also, no erasing. Everything will get covered up with cotton balls anyway…(but even if it wasn’t, we’re big fans of no-erasing when drawing).
2. Lots o’ glue: This just might be your littles’ favorite part! Fill the inside of the snowman outline with lots of glue. If you’re apprehensive about handing over a bottle of glue, another strategy that you could use is to provide your child with a small bowl of glue + a paintbrush.
3. Cotton ball time: Once your glue is ready, fill it in with cotton balls! We model pulling cotton balls apart one at a time and making them larger instead of just grabbing a handful and throwing them on the glue. We discuss using one at a time and try to see how long we can stretch each cotton ball. This part right here, the stretching of the cotton balls = fine motor goldmine.
What are kids learning when they make cotton ball snowman art?
First, the sensory experiences here are tremendous! Kids are touching cotton balls (which have a unique texture of their own), plus they’re pulling, stretching, and pushing them onto paper. They might even get some glue on their hands. Lots of tactile stimulation in this project!
Second, filling in the snowman outline employs the math concept of spatial awareness. Being able to look at a space and use trial and error (and eventually be able to eyeball) to see what shapes (cotton ball sizes) can fit inside is math, math, math. Also related, when completing my thesis, I read what felt like every article on Earth about how kids learn math skills, and there is tremendous research that shows that a child’s mastery of spatial awareness is one of the most significant predictors of their overall mathematical understanding and success in the future. Pretty neat!
What if I don’t have cotton balls?
Look around your home or classroom for other materials that could stand in for the cotton balls. For example, you could modify this project by using the following:
- Paper towels ripped into small pieces
- Tissue paper (colored or white)
- Cotton rounds
For more snow activities, you won’t want to miss this easy blue tape snowflake project!
We can’t wait to see your cotton ball snowman art
These little cuties are always such a fun, engaging project that kids love.
Personalize your snowmen any way you choose and have fun creating your works of art!