The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is one of my absolute favorite winter books. This simple story is appropriate for our youngest friends (our 2-4 year-old mess makers, of course) and incites nostalgia in their grownups.
I have done so many art projects with this book over the years. We have played in shaving cream (and really, truly made a mess!), built snowmen from Model Magic or packing peanut “noodles,” and stamped snowflakes all over blue paper. One consistent item has been to create Peter, the main character, to hang in a window, give as a gift, or to be used as an ornament on a Christmas tree.
What you’ll need:
- Stiff white felt, cut into the shape of Peter (Click here to use the PDF I made you to use as a template!)
- Red washable paint
- Brown felt
- Fabric glue
- Blue construction paper
- White washable paint
- Snowflake stamps
- White tissue paper or paper
- White glue
- Brushes (one for glue and one for paint)
- Snowflake stickers and confetti (optional, but fun)
What you’ll do:
To prep, I cut out all of the bodies for the Peter characters from the stiff white felt, and one little brown oval for each “body” I cut out. I punched a little hole in each to make room for an ornament hook or string. I also made stampers by, you guessed it, using baby food pouch lids and hot glueing snowflake buttons on. I swear I’m not a one trick pony, but I just really love this trick, and stamping is great for this age group!
I gave each child one cut-out Peter and had them use the red paint to color in the snowsuit. If you were feeling adventurous, you could have them use a variety of colors. They will need to put a decent amount of paint on to completely cover the piece, and it could take a little coaxing.
Wipe down those hands, or let them get up and wash, depending on how hard they were just working, and give them a little face for their character (the little brown felt circle), and markers. I prompted the little ones to add eyes, a mouth, etc. When they’re finished, dab a little fabric glue on stick the face into the snowsuit.
With my own child who was sick at home, I allowed him to use scissors and cut some regular white paper up to create mountains of snow on his paper. I have also done this with ripped and crumpled tissue paper, which I prefer, because it has a nice texture to it.
When we made this mess at the manatee, we used the snowflake stampers, glued on some glitter confetti snowflakes, and stuck on some felt snow stickers that I found in the make a mess stockpile.
We will have more snowy books coming up this winter, and I’ll be hosting at least four more messes at The Blue Manatee. Make a mess with me (Live! In Person!) or send me photos of your homemade messes!