Inside: This snowman art activity is all about the action, using a salad spinner to apply the paint!
If you haven’t added a salad spinner to your art center yet, you just might want to consider it!
We use ours year round, making fun art projects such as:
In fact, it was that activity that inspired today’s spin-painted snowman art.
If you are wanting to break away from the usual crafty activities this winter, you’ve got to try this at your art table!
The Salad Spinner
I can’t remember exactly when we first introduced a salad spinner to the art table, but I know it’s been over a decade.
And every single time we use the salad spinner, it is loved by our toddlers and preschoolers.
Once you show them how to use the spinner, young children are capable of using it with little assistance.
They love all the action that takes place – making the spinner move, making it stop, adding paint, removing the final product.
This is an example of process art, which we love in our classroom!
Spin Painted Snowman Art
As I mentioned earlier, we only recently started using 3-dimensional objects with the salad spinner.
When I found some cute little wooden snowmen on Amazon, I wondered how it would work to toss them into a salad spinner with some white paint.
I didn’t even test it out before hand. I got enough wooden snowmen so each child got one, and we figured out what worked and what didn’t work as we went along.
What we used:
- Salad spinner (This one is our favorite!)
- White tempera paint
- Wood snowmen
- Squeeze bottle (to put the paint in, if you are using a gallon jug of paint)
If your tempera paint is in a gallon size jug, pour some into a plastic squeeze bottle.
This makes it easier to add paint to the spinner. (Once your children have mastered using the salad spinner, they might like to squeeze their own paint into it! Supervised, of course.)
Place the paint, salad spinner, and wooden snowmen on a table.
Invitation to Paint Snowmen
Now comes the fun part. Paint the snowmen!
Place a wooden snowman in the basket of the salad spinner.
Squirt some white paint into the salad spinner.
Put the lid on the salad spinner and make it move!
Fine Motor Fun
What I love about using the salad spinner is all the fine motor going on.
If you’ve shopped salad spinners, you know that there can be some differences.
Some have levers, some have handles that require turning.
Our favorite salad spinner (shown above) has a big “button” that needs to be pushed.
Some children use the palms of their hands (one or two hands at a time, depending on their strength), and some use their fingers.
That’s a lot of hand and finger strengthening going on!
Make it move fast!
The goal is to get the salad spinner moving as fast as possible.
Younger children might need some help with this, as they don’t have the strength that older children do.
The faster the spinner moves, the more easily the paint is disbributed.
If you are using a salad spinner like ours, with the device that needs to be pushed, I’ve found that some toddlers prefer having it on the floor.
This allows them to bend and put more power into the pushing movement.
If you find that the paint isn’t moving around much, try thinning it a bit with water. Thick paint has a harder time moving around.
Notice that our snowmen didn’t get completely covered in white paint. That is okay! I let the children decide when they were finished.
We’d open the lid of the salad spinner, check the snowman, and decide if more spinning needed to take place or if that was enough.
Like with many activities, it all depends on the attention span of each child.
Some want to spend quite a bit of time while others are ready to move on earlier.
When each snowman is out of the salad spinner, put on a tray to dry completely.
The children can then take them home, or you can add to a snow theme in your block center!
More Ways to Explore Snowmen
Circle Time/Table Activity: Snowman In the Cold (Free Printable)
Circle Time/Math: 5 Little Snowmen (Free Printable)
Math: Snowman Counting (Free Printable)
Literacy: Alphabet Snowmen
Playdough: Build a Snowman
FREE CIRCLE TIME PLANNER!
Get your FREE circle time planner as a gift when you subscribe to my free weekly newsletters.