Snowman Playdough – Easy Holiday Gifts

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class christmas gift ideasInspiration strikes at the funniest times. I was at the dollar store picking up helium balloons for my son’s birthday party when I saw these little containers. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do with them. I even had the perfect ribbon at home. I wanted something to give to the other students at my daughter’s preschool class for Christmas and as as soon as I saw these containers I knew I had a winner. These snowman playdough gifts are easy to make ( especially if you skip the scarf) , and cost next to nothing. Fun and frugal!


Gather your materials. You will need some containers with white lids, permanent markers in orange and black, white playdough , double stick tape , scissors, and ribbon.

snowman gift containers for playdough

Start by making the playdough. I usually buy Play-Doh ( <– affiliate link to amazon if you want to buy it )  but when I need this much in one color I will make it. I used my favorite recipe(<— link to recipe if you want to make it ) and added white glitter and mint extract to it. When adding extract I usually put some on my hands and add it during the kneading until I have the right scent.

Next fill your containers. I had a helper! playdough gifts for kids

Draw the mouth and eyes on with the black marker ( make sure it’s permanent ) .snowman craft

Add the nose with orange. snowman treat container

Pop the top on and add some double stick tape on the side. This will hold the ribbon scarf on. snowman containers for playdough

Cut the ribbon at a length about one and a half times around the container. Trim the ends. snowman treat

Tie it on. This was the most time consuming part of the craft for me. snowman playdough giftI would have been done all 12 in five minutes if I didn’t add a scarf so if time is short skip it. I do think they are a super cute addition and if you have an extra 15 minutes to do gifts you can make at home

After I was done with the scarves my daughter was still playing. She even went down to get more playdoh to fill the extra containers. I love it when an activity that is really mostly an adult one can still spark play. snowman playdough play

Books About Snowmen

Here are a few books about snowmen to go along with this activity. All of our book lists include affiliate links.

snowmen at night

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner I love this book and actually looked for 2 hours in our playroom and storage room convinced I owned it but misplaced it. I don’t. I finally sat down to read it to my daughter at her school last week. She liked the snowmen but wasn’t as into it as I suspect she will be next winter. The story is adorable but a little sophisticated for a 19 month old. My son has read it and loved it, because it taps into a child’s imagination perfectly. The author imagines a world where snowmen come to life and party at night when we are sleeping, which is why they always look a little different in the morning. I remember my son looking at me and asking ” not really right?” when we read it a few years ago. I love the whimsical illustrations with fun points of view that makes the reader feel like they are in on a real secret. Great book for preschoolers, I was a little over eager reading it with my daughter but it’s so good I couldn’t wait to. { Edited for 2013 My daughter did appreciate this and the Christmas themed book in the same series much more this year than last!}

The Biggest Snowman Ever

The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute winter book that holds a fantastic message inside. The book tells the story of a snowman making contest in Mouseville, two little mice work so hard by themselves but it’s just not enough until they join forces. Competition is not a bad thing but sometimes cooperation is even better, I really like this book.


Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :


In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much.


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  1. Lea says

    Cute idea. I looked several places for plastic containers with white lids and could not find them. So, I bought glad round containers with blue lids. Then I found white felt with a sticky back and cut it in a circle shape to stick on top of the blue lid. Turned out cute. Added a chevron scarf and worked well.

  2. Carrie says

    Hi I am planning to make these for my daughter’s class- thank you for the idea! I am trying to find the little containers- were they from the Dollar Tree and if so, how many per pack? There is not a Dollar Tree super close to me, so I am wondering if I should get some at the lunch counter in my office building for 25 cents each, or make a run out to the Dollar Tree. Thank you!

  3. Meli says

    I’m making these for my daughter’s baby friends, as we are going to a holiday party in a couple of weeks and I wanted to take something for everyone. Since it’s babies, I found an “ok if it gets eaten” recipe (corn starch and oil, 8:1 ratio). Also, for the scarf I used colorful tape and hot glued a silver bow on them. I also had to do the felt circles another poster mentioned, as I couldn’t find containers with white lids. Such a cute idea!


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