- 250g of corn flour (per pair)
- 250g of bicarbonate of soda (per pair)
- Water – start with 1tbsp (per pair)
- Large bowl (1 per pair)
- Large spoon (1 per pair)
- Table coverings
- Items for creating the snowman's features, such as carrots, buttons, gravel, ribbons, twigs, pipe cleaners
- A photo of Olaf (optional)
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. There's also more guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
Planning and setting up the activity
- This activity will get messy, so be prepared with covers for the tables and run it in a space that is easy to clean up after.
- You may want to tell people to wear clothes that they don’t mind getting messy or have aprons available for people to wear.
Time to build a snowman!
- Gather everyone together in a circle. Ask everyone if they’ve seen a film called Frozen. Ask if anyone can remember what happens.
- Explain to everyone that in Frozen, Princess Anna sings a song where she reminisces about building a snowman with her sister Queen Elsa. Ask if anyone knows what the song is – it's called ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’
- If you’re able to, you may want to play ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ on a music streaming platform or YouTube. Alternatively, you could see if your group can remember the song to sing a little bit of it.
- Tell everyone when Queen Elsa and Princess Anna were little, they built a snowman and called it Olaf. Explain that, just like in Frozen, you’re going to use teamwork to build a snowman, but yours will be one that doesn’t melt in the summer!
- Ask if anyone knows the features of a snowman, such as the shape it is and the different parts it might have. You may want to show the group a picture of Olaf for reference.
- Ask everyone to get into pairs or small groups, making sure there’s a responsible adult or young leader with each group or pair.
- When everyone’s ready, hand out the ingredients and equipment.
- People should add the cornflour and bicarbonate of soda into a big bowl, then add 1 tbsp of water to the bowl. Mix it slowly with a wooden spoon.
- If the consistency is still not right, you can add more water, very small amounts at a time until its correct. Use your hands to do the final mixing and make sure it is well blended.
- When the mixture has formed, you can build your snowman!
- Each pair should use their hands to make 3 different sized balls by using your hands to compress the ‘snow’ into a nice round shape. Put the balls together, then people can continue to construct and decorate their own snowman as desired.
- You could continue to play with the snow and use biscuit cutters to push the snow into shapes and use the snow to create a wintery landscape. Ask people to try to come up with an adventure that your snowman may go on. Will it go exploring in the woods like Kristoff and Sven? Will it live in an ice palace like Queen Elsa?
- Make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly after the activity, as they’ll be messy.
Reflection - Feel, don't conceal
This activity was all about creativity and teamwork, as we channeled Princess Anna and Queen Elsa and made our own snowman! What did the snow feel like? What did it smell like? What did it look like? How was easy or difficult it to make?
This activity was all about teamwork. What did your pair or group do to make sure you all could have a go and take part in the activity? Did you each do different tasks, or did you all do a little bit of each task? Did you work well as a team? What can you do next time to be an even better team player? Can anyone think of a time Princess Anna, Kristoff, Queen Elsa and Olaf worked as a team?
What does everyone think of Olaf? Did your snowman look like Olaf too, or did you add some extra features and make it slightly different? What did your snowman look like?
What unique qualities does Olaf have? It may come up that Olaf is funny, loyal, likes warm hugs, enjoys summer and is a good friend. Did you make up a story about what your snowman did? Was your snowman called Olaf or did they have a unique name? What did your snowman do?
- Craft: Unusual substances
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using unusual substances, such as powdered paint, ash or dirt. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by what’s being used. Make sure you follow all relevant safety guidance or manufacturers guidelines, where available. Make sure you dispose of it appropriately too, in line with safety guidance.
- To make it easier, you can make the ‘snow’ ahead of time and just have the young people make the snowmen. If the mixture is kept in an air-tight, sealed plastic bag, it shouldn’t dry out.
- To make it harder, you could see if young people could follow the recipe themselves.
Some people may not like getting their hands dirty or touching certain textures and that's OK. Make sure no-one is pressured or forced into touching the mixture or playing with the snow. You may want to have latex-free gloves or extra spoons on hand for people to use if they’d like to. They could also build their own Olaf out of another material they prefer to touch, such as playdough.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.