A few weeks back, my beloved brought home a brand new video gaming system. Seeing my raised eyebrows, he played up his purchase, which had been reduced for the Christmas shopping season and would allow us to download movies and stream the web right on our TV. While I have never considered such perks essential to our happiness or home, I good-naturedly joined him in installing the unit, then watched in fascination while he settled back and began creating his gaming avatars.

With video games, it seems, much of the initial fun lies in clicking through galleries of hair colors and styles, eye shades and shapes, and body types and brows to create your avatars, or graphical images that represent a person. On this particular day, my husband established his avatar collection the way a lot of us might – by designing a likeness of himself. 

Children do the same, whether it’s tracing their hands to make a Thanksgiving turkey or drawing their first self-portrait. Last week, while searching for an art project that would satisfy my daughter’s desire to make a mess and my own to feel creative, we took a cue from the gaming world and made our own avatars.

Using marshmallows and kitchen odds and ends, we created a Marshmallow Snowman Family. In the end, the snowmen’s actual resemblance to us was trumped by the fun we had making them (and eating the ingredients)!

The key to making marshmallow snowmen is getting creative with the contents of your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

A bag of large marshmallows
Toothpicks or melted chocolate
Small, assorted sweets, such as sprinkles, mints, colorful cereal, chocolate chips, and a few types of bright, hard-shelled candies
Pretzels, chow mein noodles, or licorice

Your snow family can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like, making this a perfect activity for children of any age and artistic ability. Start by making a snowman head from one marshmallow. With a dish of melted chocolate to use as glue, design the face, hair, and accessories using the assorted candies and sweets. Get creative! Style hair from shredded wheat, peanut butter, or cheese puffs. Cover ears with candy muffs. Draw in features with icing. When your snowman’s head is ready, set it aside to dry. 

Next, dab melted chocolate between two marshmallows and stack them. This will be the snowman’s body. Using the melted chocolate, apply candies and other edibles to give your snowman a collar, scarf, or other accessories. Once the body is dry, stack the head on with more chocolate. 

Finally, give your snowman arms and legs using pretzels, chow mein noodles, or licorice. Set aside to dry.

As you create the rest of your snowman avatars, try to use several colors and edibles to give each snowman his or her own unique look. Once your family is assembled, it’s ready to be displayed or eaten. Bon appetit!

Do you have a fun winter craft you’ve enjoyed with your children? Share it below!