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Snow Paintings



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Visual Arts


  • Pre K
  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

Fun winter activity: students use a water/food coloring mixture to paint on snow.



  • consider many possible subjects for their snow paintings.
  • work successfully and creatively with a new medium (water-and-food-coloring "paints").
  • learn about how new colors form when primary colors are mixed (optional).


painting, art, snow, winter, color

Materials Needed

  • snow
  • water bottles with squirt nozzles/sprayers
  • food coloring (variety of colors)
  • water

Fill the spray bottle with water. Add food coloring. Cap the bottle tightly. Shake.

Lesson Plan

Snow is a prerequisite for this simple activity, so it can only be done in a cold climate or as part of a warm-climate "snow fair" in which snow is made or trucked in.

The activity is simple: Prepare the "paint" (food coloring in water -- see Materials Needed above) in squirt bottles and provide a canvas (a patch of snow) for each student and let them use the squirt colors to paint their pictures.

You might:

  • allow students to paint free-form (anything they wish) or you might have them create a simple design or picture on paper before "painting" it on the snow canvas. If you have students design their snow paintings in advance, let them know the color choices they will have so their designs match the food-coloring "paints" that are available. You might even limit students' designs/paintings to three or four colors.
  • connect the students' snow paintings to the curriculum. If you are studying community helpers, ask them make a snow painting of one of their community's helpers. If students are studying dinosaurs, let them "snow paint" their favorite dino
  • take the opportunity to teach students about how they can mix colors to make other colors. For example, red and yellow food coloring mixed together make orange; blue and yellow food coloring together make green. (You can learn more about the principle of Additive Color.)


Did students enjoy the activity?

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.) For additional lessons in the arts, see these Education World resources:

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Originally published 01/10/2006
Last updated 12/10/2010