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Let it Snow--Indoors!

Just because there’s no white stuff outside doesn’t mean you can’t build a snowman...

Building a snowman is a rite of passage in winter. And even when the flakes don’t fall, you can still make a frosty friend -- indoors. “It’s easy to create a snowman out of food, recycled materials or whatever’s lying around the house, from sugar cubes to packing popcorn,” says New Jersey-based elementary school art teacher Jodi Zielinski. Check out these recipes for the perfect snowman (or woman)…and hold the snow!

Incredible Edible Snowman
Stack three large marshmallows and “glue” them together with vanilla frosting. Use the frosting to attach M&Ms for eyes, an orange Tic Tac for the nose, and a string of raisins for the mouth. Add chocolate chip “buttons” down the middle marshmallow, twist licorice or a strip of Fruit Roll-Up around the neck for a scarf, and use a gumdrop for a hat. Add pretzel arms if you want. Now drop your snowman in a mug of hot cocoa or simply eat and enjoy!

Variation: Also try this basic concept using cupcakes, Krispy Treats, or scoops of vanilla ice cream as a base instead of marshmallows.

Paper-Mâché Snowman
This project is messier, but the results will last well into spring. You’ll need two balloons, strips of newspaper, white craft glue mixed with water (a ratio of one part water to two parts glue), masking tape and child-safe paints. Begin by blowing up one large and one small balloon -- for the base and the head. Next, dip strips of newspaper into the glue mixture and layer them onto each balloon, smoothing them down as you go. Completely cover the balloons with overlapping newspaper strips and allow to dry overnight. Tape the balloons together in the form of a snowman. Add another layer of newspaper strips if desired or simply paint and decorate! Drizzle with white glitter for that sun-hitting-snow sheen.

Variation: Ambitious crafters can add a third balloon to form the snowman’s middle.

Sock It-To-Me Snowman
Finally, a use for those old mismatched socks! Fill a white sock about two-thirds full with uncooked rice or beans or a second old sock. Tie the sock closed -- tightly -- just above the filling line using yarn, ribbon or a pipe cleaner (this will be the snowman’s scarf). Add a smaller amount of filling to the top third of the sock to create a head, and tie it off again, trimming the extra yarn and sock material. Now you’re ready to decorate! Sew or glue on buttons, beads, google eyes, pom-poms, scraps of felt, or any other craft supplies you have on hand to create the face, buttons and hat.

Variation: Younger kids might enjoy skipping the filling and decorating the sock as a snowman puppet.

Clay-Play Snowman
Make your own Playdoh-like clay by combining 2 cups baking soda, 1 ½ cups water and 1 cup cornstarch in a medium bowl. Knead the dough and practice rolling small, medium and large balls (don’t rush the fun!). Stick toothpicks or pipe cleaners through the middle to connect the balls, then decorate by coloring bits of extra clay with food coloring and shaping it into the snowman’s features.

Variation: Older kids can make the snowman come alive with claymation (or stop motion animation)! Film quick clips of the snowman in a progression of positions, then play them back to see a short movie showing your frosty friend in action.



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