Snow sculptures

I’d been excited for yesterday all week.

Every day since it snowed, my first-grader has come home and asked us to come outside and play with him, and except for one windy day, I bundled up my toddler and headed out to play. With temperatures in the teens, we would only stay outside for a half an hour. Besides the temperature, the pretty, puffy and sparkly snow was not good for making anything because it doesn’t stick together.

But yesterday, with the temperature hovering just above the freezing point, the snow was wet and perfect for packing and rolling giant snowballs for snowmen.


After a few sled runs down the driveway, we rolled the three balls for a three-foot tall snowman, and while my six-year old rolled some smaller balls for a pair of kid snowmen, I had a flash of inspiration and began packing a rectangle of snow. Pretty soon, my older boy asked what I was making and joined in to make a fire truck big enough to sit in.

We packed a rectangle for the front, ground level gap to put the toddler’s feet, then a flat ledge to sit on, with a raised back end with a hollowed out middle. My first-grader added a walnut on the front with a snow structure around it for a siren, and a semicircle mound on top for a steering wheel.

I had intended for them to take turns, but because my older boy was so excited to use it with his brother, we added a back seat and steering wheel, turning it into an articulated fire truck–the kind with the steering wheel in the back to go around corners in places like New York City.


While they pretended, I took some photos, and it occurred to me that when looking at it, the fire truck blended into the snow. Then I remembered a present my older boy had gotten for Christmas last year–a Sno Marker; however, the squeeze bottle filled with colored water cost about $10. For colored water. But the idea was very fun, and he had a blast with it last year. I pulled out the only spray bottle we have that didn’t have cleaning supplies in it, filled it with water, added several drops of red food coloring, and let the boys spray the fire truck red. Not only is using spray bottles fun, but it also exercises muscles needed for writing and small motor skills. My toddler needed help, but he insisted on doing it. And the results were very satisfying.


When we went inside, we discovered we’d been outside for an hour and a half playing, and if it weren’t time for an urgent potty break and lunch, we would’ve stayed out longer.

Now the snow is melted, except for our sculptures, but snow is in the forecast. I have a feeling I should go buy another spray bottle and more food dye.

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