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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

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Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Winter Snow Painting

Hi! I'm Sarah Johnston and I work part-time in the Studio and conduct Student Outreach Programs for The Carle. Diana and Meghan invited me to contribute to the Studio's blog about once a month, so I'm excited to start sharing some of my ideas with you. I have a background in art education and taught elementary art for five years in Chicago before relocating to Western Massachusetts with my husband in 2011. I hope you enjoy my first post!

There is something very magical about making the first footprints, snow angels or other marks in a fresh blanket of snow.  It often makes me think of a blank canvas just waiting for an artwork to emerge. This project captures that magic in a slightly different and more colorful way.  The materials you need to snow paint are ones that you most likely have in your home already, even if you are snowbound. So if your family is looking for something different to do in the snow, give snow painting a try.


The Materials:

Condiment style bottles (we purchased ours from Target)

Food coloring and/or old and dried out markers


Part of the fun is mixing up different colors of “paint” into your bottles.  I found that about 4-5 drops of food coloring in around 6 oz. of water will give you bright enough colors.  The process of making the paint could even be used as a quick lesson in color mixing and discovery.  As a former art teacher I often looked for ways in which children could discover on their own how colors mixed to form new colors.  The food coloring box may only give you some of the colors in the rainbow so you might have to mix the other colors.  What happens when you add a drop or two of red into yellow?  What colors do you think you need to mix to make purple?


If you don’t have food coloring in your kitchen I found another way to make quick and easy “paint” when we were purging the Studio's marker collection.  Older and dried out markers may not have enough color to draw with anymore, but if you drop one or two  markers into your bottles with water then you will have some other vibrant colors to paint with.  Once your colors are mixed up it's time to go outside and try painting on the snow.  The bottles should give enough control to write, draw or just spatter like Jackson Pollock.



Have you used old markers successfully in art projects? I'm always looking for ways to reuse regularly discarded materials, so I'm going to continue exploring the possibilities of reusing old markers.  Hopefully I'll share with you my findings!



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 



by Sarah Johnston

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 at 4:08 pm and is filed under By Sarah Johnston, Elementary School, High School, Toddlers, Nature, Painting, Preschool. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Monday, February 2, 2013 - 7:54 am
We used spray bottles from the Dollar Tree for ours. The kids had a blast and everyday ask to color the snow.
Sarah Johnston
Friday, February 2, 2013 - 10:21 am
Great to know that the Dollar Tree has supplies for snow painting!
Jamie Grace-Duff
Wednesday, February 2, 2013 - 11:02 pm
I saw a post somewhere that made jump ropes out of old markers! Brilliant plan. So, get all the last bits of color out of the dried out markers, then repurpose the outer shells into jumpropes! I think this is a win win for my house!
Sarah Johnston
Friday, February 2, 2013 - 10:24 am
What a fun and colorful way to make your own jump rope out of marker shells. Thanks for sharing!

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