By: Lana Kelly
Editor, momstown Belleville
Do you ever get tired of building a plain, old snowman in the winter fun months? Well, I just may have the solution. How about a new twist on an old idea? How about going beyond the typical snowman, and building a snow family with snow pets, who just happen to live in their very own snow castle? I know it sounds like an awfully tall order to create with young children, but, it just may entice you and your family to go outside more than once this winter, in order to complete this snowy, on-going, project!
A mild, winter day, after a big snow storm, is the best day to begin this snow-sculpting project. The top layer of the snow has been slightly melted, due to the warmth of the sun.
Now, grab some slushy snow, form a little ball, set it down and roll, roll, and roll some more until…….you have a large round snowball! This will be the bottom of the first member of your snow family (mom, dad, sister, etc.).You will obviously need three large snow boulders, stacked nicely on top of one another.
You can then use large kitchen utensils, garden tools, shovels, or anything that will smooth out the surface of your snow family member.
Be creative when choosing accessories for your snow family members. For example, if your ‘snowmom’ likes to cook, put some twig arms on her, and have them hold kitchen utensils (stirring spoon). You could even tie (with an apron string) a mixing bowl around her waist, and have the spoon on the other twig arm reaching in to stir! Or, if your ‘snowbrother’ likes to snowboard, place a snowboard on the ground where his feet would go, or have him hold it in his twig arms. You can use colourful yarn for his hair. Or, the bottom of a broom for a ‘mohawk’ hairdo! Use your imagination!
We visit a campground each year which has an annual sandcastle building contest at the beach. Year after year, the same family wins, because they make a sand-creature (this summer, it was a whale) instead. Now, I am not about to complain (since this is not a sandcreature building contest, but, rather, a sandcastle building contest!), but, it does give me an idea of how you can use snow to accomplish the same pet sculpture. It is possible, even if you are not a sculpting artist! For instance, if your pet is a dog, simply roll two snowballs (one will be the dog’s body, and the other the dog’s head), sculpt some ears for the top (small triangles), add branches for whiskers, three black pebbles for the eyes and nose, and…..voila! A ‘snowpet’ masterpiece!
Lastly, for the snowcastle, you can use sandcastle building pails. Just fill them up with snow, and start piling the snowcastle blocks on top of one another, until you reach a suitable height. You will want to build your walls around your snow family sculptures.
You can go one step further, and use spray bottles (filled with water and drops of food colouring ) to spray your snow family members in different colours. You can spray your snow castle with water as you add blocks to your creation, in order for it to freeze into a magical ice castle!
So…..do you want to build a snowman? I would think again, and say (or sing): “Do you want to build a snow family?” instead.
If you want to learn more about winter fun activities going on in the Guelph area, keep checking our momstown website and round-up information.
Lana Kelly( B.A, SSW, ECE, Montessori). For 20 years, Lana has been dedicated to helping children and families. In 2010, she published a book (The Sheepish Lamb) , aimed at building resilience to childhood anxiety. She is a mom to four daughters, and values her faith and family solidarity.