“Snow is Falling”: Snow Painting In The Early Years

This winter early years activity is the last of the current 6-part series of early years music articles featuring a new activity each month. It was taken from an article on arts activities trialled for 1 and 2-year-old early years children, with added musical suggestions (recordings on You Tube).

A Finnish study, (Lehikoinen, 2023) considered 6 different ways to explore early years creative activity for 1 and 2 year olds. The focus was on successful engagement as this age is known to be tricky, with limited ideas for under 3s in the arts. To achieve this, 6 early years activities were devised, specifically for this age group:

  • Dance-painting – paint feet, move to song (part 1, July 2023)
  • Magic dough – create playdough objects from songs (part 2, August 2023)
  • Digital drawing – taking pictures or creating pictures using technology (part 3, September 2023)
  • Musical drawing – drawing or painting while listening to music (part 4, October 2023)
  • Balloon painting – painting using balloons, and paint-filled balloons (part 5, November 2023)
  • Snow-painting – painting using snow! (part 6, December 2023)

This month, we are focusing on snow painting.

Snow painting is literally that – painting on snow! It looks great and is easy to do – and if it’s too cold to stay outside for too long, bring it in on trays or tubs, and keep going!

For this early years painting idea, it is useful to use:

  • liquid watercolours in pots/tubs – diluted in cold water (so that the ice doesn’t melt)
  • small containers/trays (bring snow inside if children get cold)
  • different size paint brushes
  • pipettes/droppers

Make sure the colours are bright enough, and be aware that colours will run into each other as the snow melts. Then drip colour or paint it on to the snow and watch a picture appear! Bonus tip: make snow creatures to add to your snow picture! It really is this simple, needs no further explanation, so as a painting activity for children it is perfect for this age group!

Weather can be such a magical time, and the songs this month celebrate it. This is also a great creative way to develop awareness of how the weather changes through the seasons.

Frosty weather

Frosty weather
Snowy weather
When the wind blows we
All stick together

This song can be used as a circle dance or a free movement song, depending on the confidence of the children in the group. 1) As a circle song, children hold hands, walking around in a circle as they sing the first three lines, “Frosty weather, snowy weather, when the wind blows we …” As they start the next line, children run to the middle of the circle to “stick together”. 2) As a free dance, use words to create the imagery of soft, gentle leaves, blowing where the wind takes them, as children move freely to the first three lines of the song. In both situations, the last line could potentially become chaotic, so it will help to emphasise beforehand that leaves blow together gently, they don’t bump and bash each other, but gently touch and move away.

Rain Rain

Rain, rain go away
Come again another day
Rain, rain go away
All the children want to play

This is a lovely song for a few reasons. Songs that involving chanting to rhythm are wonderful ways to get new or unfamiliar groups working and singing together. This song only ever uses two notes, so it a great way to get children to hear the difference between high and low notes – this is lovely way to develop their ability to sing in tune. Finally, once children can hear and copy the high and low notes accurately, they will be able to play the tune on simple tuned percussion instruments – xylophones or glockenspiels, chime bars, and even ukuleles (the two middle strings).

Twinkle Twinkle

Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star
How I wonder what you are

Singing along to this Christmas variation of Twinkle Twinkle is a magical way to get children exploring the paint and ice/snow while keeping them focussed on different ways to think of stars: multiple pin pricks in the sky, bright guiding lights, ornate and fancy shapes, or a burning streak of light shooting across the sky! Creating a few different examples for children to imitate often leads to some children creating their own fanciful ideas of stars, while it gives other children a starting point to copy and begin to develop their own imagination.

Snow is falling

Snow is falling
All around me

Children playing

Having fun

It’s the season

Of love and understanding

Merry Christmas


The first verse of this popular Christmas song is perfect for this time of year, celebrating snow fall! Dance around and sing if you are lucky enough to be together in snow fall, or use indoor ways to explore playing in snow. If you are “being” snowflakes, it is helpful to remind children that snowflakes never crash into each other, never knock each other, but gently blow up into each other and away. If you’re indoors, play scarves are fantastic reusable items that can gently float. Alternatively, a box of white tissues or sheets of kitchen roll could be used, giving children the opportunity to develop their hand-eye co-ordination as well as fine motor control. This is as they practise keeping tissues uncreased and level, so that they can gently float to the floor. Clean up tip: once the floor is covered with white tissue, announce a “snowball fight”, gathering up tissue to throw, first gently at each other – and then in the bin!

Snow is such a magical experience for children, turning the world into a completely different environment. Not only the appearance but the sounds and the smells, change everything, making the whole world different when it snows. Enjoy this musical exploration!


Lehikoinen, S. M. (2023). Joy of exploring–visual art methods for 1-& 2-year-old children in the early childhood education. 42.

Discover More

Snow painting is just one of the many winter activities you can enjoy with your little ones. Get your creative juices flowing with these fun and engaging winter activities: Make paper snowflakes and decorate your home with them. Build a snowman or a snow fort. Have a winter-themed scavenger hunt. Bake and decorate gingerbread cookies. Go on a winter nature walk and collect pinecones and other natural materials to create winter-themed crafts. Winter is a season full of excitement and opportunities for endless creativity. Keep exploring and challenging your little ones with these fun winter activities that will invoke their love for music and life even more.

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