By Summer Thornsberry
The first big snow brings sledding, snowball fights, snow angels, freezing hands (after building the best snow fort your kids have ever seen), and of course, making a snowman — after all, that’s what snow is for, right?
Building a snowman is easier said than done, so if you need a few extra tips on how to create a long-lasting snowman that will light up your children’s faces every time they look at it, look no further.
Check your snow. Make sure there is at least 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ground. Check the temperature to make sure it will stay cool enough for the snow to stick. Wet, slushy-like snow will melt quickly.
Dress warm. Make sure you and your child are wearing scarves, hats, heavy jackets and water-proof gloves or mittens to prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Snow boots will keep your feet and toes warm and dry.
Have all of your materials handy. All you need is snow, a carrot for the nose, a couple of sticks for the arms, and buttons or cookies for the body, eyes and mouth. You could even use little rocks or plastic jewels to decorate your snowman. You’ll also need a hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves to keep Frosty’s “hands” warm, too.
Pick a spot. Find a place to build your snowman that isn’t directly exposed to sunlight. Shaded areas, like under a tree in the backyard or out by the garage, are usually the best spots to use. Choosing a good area with less sunlight will determine how long your snow will stick before melting.
Pack and roll
- Begin by making a large snowball. Easy, right? The key is to pack the snow tight and gently roll the ball around on the ground. The snowball will get larger and larger as more snow sticks. Keep rolling the snowball until it is large enough to use as the bottom of the snowman, approximately 3 to 4 feet wide. Pick out any twigs, dirt or leaves that are stuck in the snow.
- After the first snowball is large enough, repeat step one. This snowball will be used as the “body” of the snowman, so it will need to be slightly smaller than the previous one — small enough to fit on top of the larger one without tipping over.
- Repeat step one for the third and final snowball, which will be used as the head of the snowman.
Stack and style
Once you have three snowballs, it’s time to stack. To make it a little easier, flatten the top of the larger snowball that will be used as the base of the snowman. Then, flatten the bottom of the second snowball that will be used as the snowman’s “body.” You can then flatten the top of the second snowball and the bottom of the smallest snowball, making it easier to put the head on top. This will help steady the snowballs.
Styling the snowman can be as traditional or fashion forward as your family desires. Throw a scarf and a hat on it to make Frosty the Snowman, or use a bow tie to make a business(snow)man. You can even make a snow-woman by adding a wig, lashes or a purse for flair. The key is to be creative.
Cool tip: Spritz your snowman with cold water to freeze the outer layer and force Frosty to hang around a little bit longer. Add food coloring to the water to make Frosty bright.