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Snowman Thematic Unit Activity Ideas

Photo by Chris Metcalf (

There are few themes that are more fun to work with during the winter months than snowmen. These lovable balls of snow hold appeal for both teachers and students in preschool through the elementary grades. If you are looking for a new thematic unit to add to your lesson plans this winter, or simply want to spice up your existing snowman lessons, try the activities below to get you started.


Wintery Word Problems

Create snowman themed word problems using the operations that your students are currently working on. Example: Gizmo built three snowmen. Each snowman was made from three snowballs. How many snowballs did Gizmo have to make in all?

Need standards based math activities? has a whole collection of snowman themed math activities that align with the standards.


Make It Melt!

Have you ever wondered how long it would take for a snowman to melt? Let your students experiment with this idea by making miniature snowmen from the snow outside. They can estimate the time it will take for their snowmen to melt, record weight and observations, discuss the water cycle, talk about factors that might effect the melt rate, discuss global warming, and other science related topics.

Making snow can be a lot of fun!  Watch this clip from Steve Spangler as he talks about making snow.


Snowman Syllables

This fun game requires a little bit of prep work, but is a great way to get all of your students involved in learning about syllables. Create a template for four different snowmen. The first snowman is made up of only one snowball, the second is made from two snowballs, the third is made from three snowballs and the fourth is made from four snowballs. Make the templates large enough that you will be able to attach a wooden stick to the back of each one. Print out one set of snowmen for each child in your class, cut them out and glue the stick to the back. If you have parent volunteers, this is a great project to give them to work on for you! When you are ready for the lesson, explain to students that you will say a word and they need to hold up the snowman that has the same number of snowballs as the word has syllables. For example, if you said the word “snow”, students would hold up the snowman made from only one snowball. This activity is great for doing with the whole class and you will quickly get an idea of who needs more practice with syllables.

Ten Little Snowman is’s excellent online reading game for children learning the “ow” sound. If you have a computer in your classroom, consider putting this activity up as one of your learning centers.

Related Books

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll

A Snowman Named Just Bob by Mark Kimball Moulton

Little Critter:  Just a Snowman by Mercer Meyer

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Candace O.
Candace O.

I live in hot and sunny Florida, and every year my first graders enjoy our snowman unit. We make snowflakes to hang from the ceiling tiles, use science time for the instant snow activities, use snowmen for addition with three addends and make and write about snowmen. On Friday, we have a snowball fight in the classroom with crumpled up white paper. The students enjoy that part so much!!! Fun In School Happens (FISH).


I love the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. It is the true story of a boy that was obsessed with photographing snowflakes. I integrated this book into my math curriculum last winter when my second graders were studying symmetry. There is even a website featuring Snowflake Bentley's original photographs. We read the book, view the pictures on the website, and create our own symmetrical snowflakes.


I do a snowman unit every year. My favorite activity I have my first graders do is sponge paint a snowman. Then I have them write a story using their snowman as the main character. I just might have to try making snow this year. I teach in an area of CA that doesn't get any snow, so some of my students have never even seen snow before!


Love these ideas (will definitely be making insta-snow at home). My all time favorite snowman-themed book is Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. Buehner also has a newer book out called Snowmen all Year. I also like All You Need for A Snowman by Alice Schertle.

Meggan Hearst
Meggan Hearst

I absolutely love bringing snow in for children to play with. they love it too. one time, we had spray bottles with colored water in it for them to color the snow. It worked out very well. Only complaint was cold hands, but we had them use their gloves also. I like the other snow themes ideas. I will definitely use some of them.

Sarah C
Sarah C

I just love that Insta-Snow product! My fifth graders would love seeing this work. And making predictions about the snow would be a great way to tie math into this activity. And for the price (starts at $5.00), you just can't beat that product! This is definitely a product that can easily make learning fun!