Here’s how to set up one of my favorite winter activities for preschoolers using a name snowman. Be sure to grab your free printable version of this activity at the bottom of the post.
Related: Free Printable Snowman Game
Working with 4 and 5 year old children, I tend to use names a ton in my teaching. I find it fun to create new ways for children to have fun learning their names, their friends’ names, the letters and sounds in their names, etc.
With a snowy theme for winter, I knew I wanted to do something with snowmen and names. Combining arts and crafts, letters, children’s names, and snowmen is a perfect winter activity for preschoolers to try.
This name snowman craft turned out to be a blast for everyone involved – the kiddos, me, and the other teachers!
Listening as the children worked to create snowmen from their names made me smile!
Remember, you can grab a free printable of this activity at the bottom of this post.
Materials to Make a Snowman Name Craft
- various colors of construction paper
- wiggly eyes
- stick-on eyes
- craft jewels
- wide variety of pom poms
We started with some pre-cut circles out of white construction paper, and some of the children cut their own out as well. They were all about 3 to 4 inches across. I also traced some hat shapes on different color papers.
Related: Symmetry Snowflake Craft
How the Children Made Their Name Snowman
When the children sat down at my table during centers, I explained the plan. Each letter in their first names would have its own “snowball” (white paper circle). The face of the name snowman would also get one snowball.
Each child created his snowman’s face and hat first, and there was a lot of creativity at play! We had upside-down hats, wiggly eyes on hats, huge button noses, and so many more interesting creations. It’s always nice to see each child’s personality and individuality come across in activities like this.
Once the snowmen faces and hats were complete, I had each child write the letters in her name on “snowballs”. The kiddos did a wonderful job writing just one letter on each circle.
Only 1 or 2 children needed help putting the letters in the correct order or writing certain letters.
Winter Activity for Preschoolers with a Focus on Literacy
Then it was on to assembling the name snowman. The kids stacked the letters in their names, then added the snowmen’s heads on top. They all turned out even cuter than I thought they would!
In addition to the fun, creative side of this project, the children touched on many valuable educational tidbits:
- The letters need to be in the correct order to form their names. “Where’d my ‘e’ go? I can’t spell my name without the ‘e’!”
- Some children have longer names than others. “Hey, your snowman is taller than mine! How many letters are in YOUR name?”
- There are some commonalities within the children’s names. “My name ends in ‘-er’ just like his name!”
- Capital letters versus lowercase letters. We discussed this as the children were writing their names, but the kiddos didn’t always apply it correctly while writing (and that’s okay).
- Letter formation. There was much discussion about the different ways we form the letters of the alphabet.
The extra circles were set out during center time so the kiddos could make even more snowmen, with and without their names. Have you ever made a name snowman with your students?
Related: Super Sparkly Fake Snow Recipe
A Word About Left-to-Right Progression
Teaching kids that we read from left to right, and top to bottom is very important in early childhood classrooms. So the name snowman concept might be causing you to scratch your head – because it doesn’t go left to right (because that’s not how snowmen are built).
I tend to have the kids lay their snowballs in a line, left to right, on the table in front of them. Then I have the children write their letters (again, left to right). After that, I have the kids read their name from left to right.
Once that’s done, it’s time to build the snowman.
So it’s not too difficult to integrate appropriate left-to-right progression into this name snowman activity!
Name Snowman Video
Here’s a video to show you the multiple ways kids can create their own name snowman.
Remember, you can grab the free printable version at the end of this post.
Related: Winter Songs for Preschoolers
Free Printable Name Snowman Alphabet
As I mentioned above, I’ve also created a printable that goes along with this activity. I definitely think the hands-on crafty version is worth doing with the kids. But having a printable name snowman could be used a few additional ways!
Materials for the Printable Name Snowman
Alphabet snowman printable (grab the printable at the end of this post)
Prepping the Printable Version
Once you have your printable name snowman alphabet, open up the file in Adobe Reader. It’s a partially editable printable – this means you can change parts of it before printing it.
Then bring your cursor to the snowman’s hat. Highlight where it says “name” and type in the name of the child. Alternatively, use the version that just has a scarf and edit the “name” area there.
Next, print out the pages that you will be using. This includes the snowman head and whichever snowball letters you’ll be using. You can adjust your printer settings if you want to print everything smaller or larger.
Cut the pieces apart next. If this activity is meant to be reusable, you’ll likely want to laminate everything. If it’s going to be a one-time activity you may choose not to.
How to Use the Name Snowman Alphabet Printable
There are a few different ways you can use this. It all really depends on what you’d like to do with the kids. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make each child a name snowman baggie. This baggie will contain the individual pieces of the snowman. Have the kids assemble their snowman during centers or small groups.
- Combine the name snowman craft with the printable version. Let the kids design the hats for their snowman, but use the printable snowballs with the individual letters on them.
- Print out the snowman’s head and hat (with the kid’s name on it), but cut out separate snowballs from white construction paper. Let the kids write their letters on the individual snowballs before assembling the snowmen.
- Turn the snowmen into a math graph, comparing the number of letters in their names.
- You could also use the printable to explore the alphabet, but I’ll share more on that later.
There are really so many ways you can use this printable!
Preschool Snowman Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for classroom teachers and home preschool families so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas, book suggestions, and the following printables:
- Measure the Snowman Activity
- Roll a Snowman Game
- A to Z Build a Snowman Activity (focusing on uppercase, lowercase, and beginning sounds)
- Snowman Pattern Cards
- Roll and Cover Snowman Math Game Boards (numbers 1 to 12)
- 1-20 Snowman Counting Mats
- My Snowman Emergent Reader
- 0-35 Snowman Counting and Calendar Number Cards
Get your snowman themed lesson plans:
Get the Name Snowman Free Printable
This free printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re already a member, click on the button below and enter your information to get the printable sent to your email inbox.
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If you can’t see the above button, click here to join and get the snowman alphabet free printable.
Please note – many school districts have pop-up blockers enabled or very strict firewalls in place. If you’re on a school computer and can’t see the box that pops up asking for your email and name, this might be the case for your district. Using a non-school computer should solve that problem.
Originally published December 3, 2012. Updated with a video and a free printable.