Snowflake Crayon Resist

This fun les­son was inspired by a project I saw on Art Projects for Kids“Water­color Resist Snowflakes”. I changed it up just a lit­tle for my Kinder­garten classes and they had a blast doing this!


First we talked a bit about snowflakes and then I showed them some amaz­ing pho­tographs of real snowflakes (taken with a spe­cial micro­scope) in The Lit­tle Book of Snowflakes by Ken­neth Liebrecht.

Next, we learned how to draw a snowflake using diag­o­nal and hor­i­zon­tal lines:

1. Draw a tall, skinny “X”.
2. Draw a
hori­zon­tal line through the mid­dle of it.
3. “Dec­o­rate” each of the six branches in the same way, using short lines and small cir­cles or dots.

Then we used white oil pas­tels and water­color to cre­ate our snow paint­ings:

1. Write the word SNOW across the mid­dle of your 12x18 white con­struc­tion paper using white oil pas­tel. Make your let­ters big and go over them sev­eral times to make them nice and thick.
2. Now draw as many snowflakes as you can all over your paper. Fill every empty space with dif­fer­ent snowflake designs.
3. Use a Sharpie to write your name near the bot­tom.
4. Finally, paint over your entire paper with a col­or­ful water­color wash. Use lots of water so your paint will be trans­par­ent. Every time you pick up more paint, dip your brush in the water first. Exper­i­ment with mix­ing lots of dif­fer­ent colors!

Tip: When Kinder­garten stu­dents want to pick up more paint on their brush, they will often for­get to add water and instead grind their brush into the paint, pro­duc­ing what we like to call a “bad hair day” (see below). I find myself remind­ing them over and over that if they have to press hard with their brush to get more paint, that means they need to add more water!! This can be hard on your paint sets (and brushes!), but kinders learn by doing and even­tu­ally proper brush tech­niques will sink in! Don’t let this stop you from giv­ing your stu­dents lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties to work with this ver­sa­tile medium. With prac­tice, most of them will have the hang of it by first grade.
Avoid a “bad hair day” by remind­ing your stu­dents to use plenty of water when they paint with water­col­ors! One last tip.… Save your good brushes for other projects and use your cheap ones (the red-handled ones that come in the paint sets) for this project. The oil pas­tel gets into the hairs and you might need to use soap to wash it out.

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7 Responses to Snowflake Crayon Resist

  1. pink and green mama January 28, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    So cute!! An Adorable Les­son as always!! : )

  2. Alicia January 19, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    i love this! i found it on pin­ter­est and we’re totally doing this today :)

  3. Cheryl December 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Hi Cheryl. Ques­tion… would it work to use white crayon instead of oil pas­tel? Im room mom this fri­day for my sons 1st grade class. I was also con­sid­er­ing (because we will be short on craft time/tools) doing dyed bub­bles over their words and flakes. …or maybe spray bot­tles with watered down paint. (???) What do u think??? :)

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Yes — those all sound like good ideas!! White crayons will work fine as long as they press hard. You could use liq­uid water­color in spray bot­tles — works great and it’s inex­pen­sive. How do you make dyed bubbles??

      • cheryl December 19, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        You just add food col­or­ing to the bub­bles! (fun, right?) …Although, I’m wor­ried about the mess/stain poten­tial in his classroom.

        I only have 20 min­utes, at the end of the day to do a craft (and noth­ing like plan­ning at the last minute, as usual–lol!). I’m wor­ried about the paint/drying time/clean up…

        Cheryl, do you have any sug­ges­tions for me??? Would be SO appre­cia­tive. Being as I have my own art studio/boutique line, the other room moms can’t wait to see what I bring to the table. So funny–I’m so clue­less when it comes to a kids project. :))) …still try­ing to find some­thing fun, fast and back-pack ready at fin­ish. (gulp)

  4. Cheryl Trowbridge December 19, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Cheryl,
    If you’re look­ing for “some­thing fun, fast and back-pack ready at fin­ish”, I would rec­om­mend my “Candy Cane-O-Grams” project (http://www.teachkidsart.net/candy-cane-o-grams/).… I usu­ally do it with 2nd grade, but 1st grade could do it with a lit­tle help at the rolling stage. You can cut the paper to a square and skip the ruler — I’ve found that works bet­ter. The kids LOVE this project — it’s always a hit! Good luck and let me know how it goes!!
    Cheryl Trow­bridge recently posted..Mono­chro­matic Snow Scene with MarkersMy Profile

    • cheryl December 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      It’s funny–I saw that post right after I wrote you and totally agree! I think it’s per­fect for the sea­son of giv­ing. Sure to spread love and cheer. You rock! thanks so much for being so kind to cor­re­spond with me. :)
      cheryl recently posted..Designer Q&A with Sherri BlumMy Profile

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