Ask your child to describe Christmas and they'll probably tell you about the piles of presents lying under the jauntily decorated tree that they hope they'll get from Father Christmas. But crisp white snow is also bound to be mentioned. It's something we've long associated with this time of year. We rarely actually experience white Christmases these days, but this fun snow globe craft activity is a great way bring some wintery magic into your home – they make for excellent Christmas gifts too!
What Do You Need to Make Homemade Snow Globes for Kids?
Homemade Christmas snow globes are actually incredibly easy to create. But before you get started make sure you've protected your clothes and work surfaces from potential spills and stains. Check out our handy stain removal tips if an accident occurs. To make your own snow globe, you'll also need:
- Clean, empty glass jars with lids. These can be any size or shape as long as you can screw the cap on firmly – in fact the more unusual the shape, the prettier the snow globe!
- Glitter. One tube of glitter is sufficient for two jam-jar sized snow globes. The bigger the flakes the better. Don't worry if you can't find white glitter – silver or other coloured glitter work just as well.
- Glue. This needs to be waterproof. A hot glue gun is perfect in this case, but it should only be handled by an adult – little ones should be kept away from a hot tool like this. Alternatively, you could use superglue (just always supervise your kids when handling it) and don't worry about any stains, you can find out how to remove super glue from clothes here.
- Small toys or decorative items. The world's your oyster when it comes to the main feature of your snow globe: plastic toy figurines, or the plastic cake decorations you get for Christmas are great choices. Alternatively, you can use laminated paper to make a snow globe featuring your kid's favourite cartoon characters – find out how in the 'optional extras' section below.
How to Make Your Own Snow Globe
Making a snow globe is a fun and relatively quick activity, depending on how elaborate you want to make the end product. Simply:
- Set the scene. Within the jam jar lid, organise the toys that will feature in your snow globe. Make sure the toys are tall enough to be seen inside the jar, but small enough to fit once the lid is screwed on. You should also check that the toys fit the width of the jar with space around the sides so that the glitter can move around; otherwise it could pile up in one area, ruining the effect.
- Glue the toys to the inside of the lid. Make sure you leave a small amount of space between the toys and the edge of the lid, so that it can screw down onto the glass jar. The glue should be fully dry, before you move onto the next step.
- Pour half of the tube of glitter into the bottom of the glass jar. If you add more than this, the toys you've chosen may get coated in glitter or the jar will become so clouded with sparkly bits that it'll look more like a blizzard than a delicate shower of snow.
- Add water to the jam jar, up to the point where the lid screws on. Bear in mind that a certain amount of water will be displaced by the toys. Don't worry if some of the glitter floats to the top, once the snow globe is fully assembled it'll shake right down again.
- Screw the lid on firmly, turn the jam jar upside down and give it a good shake! If some of the decorative items become dislodged in the process, you can easily open the jar again and remove them from the water, then glue them back down.
Snow Globe Optional Extras
Once you know how to make a snow globe, you and your child can really go to town with the concept – you might enjoy experimenting with the ideas below:
Use laminated paper cut-outs instead of toys. If you have access to a laminating machine, you can really personalise your snow globe theme. Why not put your child centre-stage, instead of toys?
- Print pictures out on regular paper; cut around them; place them into a plastic pocket; and feed them through the machine. (Always supervise kids with scissors and be sure to only let kids watch when laminating – an adult should operate the laminator.)
- Next, cut away the excess plastic, leaving about a centimetre at the bottom of your picture.
- Cut a slit up the middle of the excess plastic and bend the resulting flaps at 90 degrees in opposite directions.
- Use the flaps to stick the picture to the inside of the lid using the glue gun.
- Once you've assembled your snow globe the glitter may stick to the laminated paper to begin with, but shake it a few times and it will come loose.
Add a backdrop to the snow globe. All you need to do is select an appropriate picture, cut it to size, and tape it to the back of the completed snow globe. Make sure you stick the picture the right way up! Using Japanese washi tape will add even more decoration to your snow globe.
Paint the jam jar lid to suit your theme. Most jar lids are made out of metal, so you'll need to use a paint designed for this kind of surface. Enamel paint, normally used for model aeroplanes, is a good choice. Make sure you give the paint at least 6 hours to dry.
Use plastic confetti instead of glitter. When tubes of glitter get knocked over it gets everywhere! And glitter isn't very easy to remove from clothes or carpet. To avoid the issue completely, and add a unique touch to your snow globes, why not use plastic confetti instead.
Plastic confetti comes in all kinds of shapes and colours – from actual snowflakes, to sparkly stars, and even Christmas trees!
Things can get sticky when superglue is involved. Discover Cleanipedia's article on how to easily remove superglue from skin if you get a bit stuck.