Snow painting with a toddler

While on break from preschool, we have been getting lots of snow and it has also been very cold outside. This is my grandson’s first year to be old enough to explore snow but since it is so cold outside, we have been bringing the snow inside for a little exploration and snow painting…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

The preschool experience at home (a non-designated preschool space) with young children is often a different experience than what takes place in a classroom setting (a designated preschool space) because you are working in an environment where everyday living by the entire family takes place rather than in an environment solely designed for the preschool experience.  Although activities may look and be a little different, both the process at home and in a preschool classroom can lead to amazing learning and development…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

While my grandson was taking his nap, I set up a little snow play station in my kitchen.  Normally, I would have put everything out ahead of time as an invitation to play but my grandson never wants to do anything until he has had his snack, so before diving into our snow play – we had a snack. Then I dumped a bowl of snow into the middle of the table…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

On the counter, I had already prepared a few dishes of colored water (food color added to water) and paint brushes.  I set out the blue water first and my grandson immediately started exploring…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

While my grandson explored the blue water and paint brush, I set out the other colors of water I had prepared…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

My grandson went around the table exploring the different colors of water – sometimes painting a little on the snow and sometimes just stirring the water in the tray…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

My grandson came and went from the snow painting table throughout the next little while.  He would wonder off every few minutes to go and play with his toys then come back to the table to explore some more…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

While he was off playing with other toys, I would change the table up a little or move things around just to see if the change would create new interest in exploring the color and the snow…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

Then my grandson would come back to see what I was doing and play a little more with the snow.   While he played, I would say statements like “Brrrr, the snow is cold!” or “The snow turned blue!” and so on…

Snow painting with a toddler by Teach Preschool

My grandson is learning to say lots of new words right now and it seems the words “cold” and “hot” or “up” and “down” are at the top of his vocabulary list of new words…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

There was no right or wrong to this process – it was simply an exploration of color and snow and all the concepts that naturally arise as my grandson explored…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

My role as the facilitator of play was to keep the process inviting. I tried to make a simple snowman but the snowman looked a little more like a snow mountain. My grandson liked the ball on top so we focused on the snow ball instead…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

Our exploration of snow was a simple experience with no specific pre-planned agenda. As my grandson explored the snow, I watched for opportunities to keep his interest but when he would go off to do something else for a bit (like try on my house shoes) I modified the experience to see if he might come back and try exploring a little more…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

And yes, we did drop a little snow on the floor during our play but no worries, I had a towel handy for just this purpose…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

After awhile, my grandson had definitely moved onto other interests so I simply dumped the snow into the sink and wiped down my board and table. A simple process to set up and take down…

Snow Painting by Teach Preschool

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Want to see what snow painting looks like in the classroom setting?  Then click here for more!

By |2012-12-28T20:42:27+00:00December 28th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. amyrubi December 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Great fun.

  2. beth c December 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    That looks great!! We still have a very small amount of snow outside here, but I get the feeling after today it will be gone again! 🙂 I would love to do this with my son- where might one find a tray like the one you put on your table to keep the melted snow-water contained?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 30, 2012 at 1:13 am - Reply

      Hi Beth,

      The tray on the table is actually what I use for our magnetic tray. It is a metal grease pan that I painted white. I purchased it for $10 from walmart in the auto section and use it everyday in my classroom (or at home too). I put it on top of tables when I need an edge. I set it up for a magnetic board, and we use it in circletime for graphing or math. You can see the board here too:


      • beth c December 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm

        wonderful!! thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Julie December 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks! A perfect activity for my 3 yr old daughter today – too sick to go out, but enough energy for some indoor snow painting. We used Christmas cookie cutters to create shapes in the snow & then painted them.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. December 30, 2012 at 1:07 am - Reply

      The cookie cutter idea is such a great idea Julie! I will have to share that with my kids in preschool if the snow sticks around long enough!

  4. Mary Beth January 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Love this idea! Thank you for sharing!
    Where did you get your child-sized white table you used for this activity? I have two child-sized long tables set up in my classroom, but I am looking for a third a tad shorter for smaller groups and your size looks like it would be perfect!
    Thank you for all your posts!
    Mary Beth

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Marybeth,
      This is a folding table from Walmart. They have them in small (like this one) and large. The legs raise up or lower and are very light weight.


  5. Mary January 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Makes me wish we had snow!

  6. Amanda January 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this great idea! I just set it up for my daughter today and she loved it! She started mixing colors to see what colors she could make. Then she had a drink and she started using her cup to smash the snow, so then I got the idea to get out some cookie cutters to use. I love how the learning process evolves. Thanks so much for all of your work that benefits so many children 🙂

  7. Ramona January 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    thank you for the idea, we try it and the kids at Green Star loved it, we don’t have much snow in Vancouver , so we surely enjoy it, having show on the table lead to making “icecream” and other kids of food pretend play 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      This is one of our favorite things to do with snow. You just can’t go wrong! I am so glad your class enjoyed this experience!

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