The Snowman by Raymond Briggs




One winter's night, a snowman comes to life and a magical adventure begins.





Raymond Briggs' classic tale is an intrinsic part of Christmas and has charmed generations of children for over thirty years. 

Narrated entirely through pictures, it dreamlike illustrations perfectly capture the wonder and innocence of childhood.

The ultimate Christmas classic from Raymond Briggs now comes with a jingle sleigh-bell sound on every page!

Also available in paperback, boardbook, pop up and as a DVD.


My girls have never experienced snow so when we first read this delightful book it was a great opportunity to create a wonderful sensory experiece for them. We had a great time emptying out all our ice cubes . .  placing them between two tea towels . . .and then smashing them with a hammer!

As we were playing with our 'snow' we had a wonderful conversation about what our Christmas would be like if we lived in a 'snowy' country.

Our wonderful friends at Puffin gave us a copy of this beautiful book to share with our online friends so I thought it would be great to ask them to share some of their ideas for SNOWY or SNOWMAN activities. Well we were inundated with so many responses that I just had to share them all with you here!

Alison B

A couple of years ago when our daughter was about 3, we used fake 'santa snow' to create reindeer footprints on our front veranda on Christmas Eve. With some broken carrots outside and a half-consumed mince pie and glass of milk inside, it made excellent evidence of Santa's visit.

Renee C

We have watched the DVD and then using marshmallows or meringues and lollies designed, made then eaten our snowmen :) my class love it and I love the story - very beautiful!

Maria K

I get my kids to make cookie snowmen sprinkled with coconut.

Natalie J

When I used to work in a creche we got pictures of snowmen and the kids used glue and cotton balls to make puffy white snowmen.

Jodie McA

We were at the beach today and we made a sandman - no not a van for cruising hot chicks, but the southern hemisphere version of a snowman! He had shells for eyes and nose, a seaweed mouth and a sun hat (of course).

Seana M

Shaving foam on a plastic tray is great fun, you can draw and write and wipe it out and start again. I use this for my sons Look Cover Write Check sometimes and the little one loves it too!

Tara Z

I have just bought some different size polystryne balls so my boys can build and decorate their own snowmen. We have buttons and sticks and dolls scarves and hats and so they stand up I have just cut a little of the largest ball so that it sits flat.

Amber D

Last winter at playgroup we did a few of these winter activities: made snowman pictures using blue cardboard, white paper circles, cotton wool, twigs for arms, buttons for eyes, orange triangles of paper for the carrot nose, and strips cut from old magazines for scarves and hats (pictures of woollen jumpers etc. gave the right look!)

Snowflakes made from cotton buds cut in various lengths and glued onto blue cardboard in snowflake patterns (start with a cross made from two whole cotton buds, then add the shorter ones at different angles) - this is pretty easy even for the littlies

Make some plain white playdough, or salt dough, and make snowmen from three different size balls of dough. Add twig arms, and anything else you can think of for eyes, nose, mouth etc. and whatever you like to "dress" the snow people.

Make a snowglobe using clear plastic lids from takeaway containers (round ones). Cut a snowglobe shape from cardboard, draw a snowy scene on the round section. Pour some glitter or confetti (little white dots from the holepunch are good too) onto the scene, then glue the plastic lid onto the scene so that there is room for the snow to move around. Hard to describe in words without pictures, but I hope you get the idea!

Kids could also make snowmen from plastic bottles ("POM" pomegranate juice bottles would look great!) covered in cotton wool balls and decorated with other bits and pieces...

A cute idea we wanted to do but were limited by budget, materials, and possibly the age of the kids: snowmen made from socks. Especially good for using up sock orphans or holey socks. Cut a tube from a white sock (cut the foot section off), turn inside out and tie the bottom with a rubber band. Turn it the right way around again so the band is on the inside. Fill with uncooked rice, lentil, beans or sand, then wrap another rubber band around the top, so you have a nice plump body. Cut some coloured or patterned socks up (argyle look cute) into tubes and toe pieces. Put a tube over the body and tie at the top and bottom with string or rubber bands, so that you have the three round shapes of the snowman, the middle section covered with a patterned "jumper" and then make a hat out of another piece of sock. Glue on embellishments (button eyes etc) and there you have it. A bit more fiddly perhaps than the other ideas!

And finally, an idea for hot weather that still gives kids a chance to explore "snow" and ice - fill a large rectangular container with water, then add plastic toys and other objects, and some coloured water ice cubes. Freeze until solid. Then let the kids "excavate" the items. They can experiment with salt in a shaker, sugar, sand, cups of warm water, small hammers, sponges, paint brushes, water pistols, whatever. They'll quickly learn that salt works really well and other things like sand don't! You can also do this at home with cups of frozen water that you float in the bath like icebergs :-)

I remembered this one from my childhood and had to google it to find a recipe: sparkle snow paint. Mix together 1/2 cup each of salt, flour and water. Pour into a squeeze bottle. Squeeze out designs onto black construction paper (snowflakes, snowmen, snowy scenes etc.) and allow to dry thoroughly. Makes a sparkly, 3D effect picture :-)

Another one I came across while googling the above: mix equal parts white PVA glue and shaving cream, apparently it makes a puffy paint that dries quickly and forms a hard coat on the outside.

Katrina Gooley

I've got a bottle of powdered snow. Don't know if it feels like real snow. But it's a great sensory activity.

And finally the winner of a copy of The Snowman (sound book) is . . .

Samantha Jayne Burgoyn

We just made snowflakes to hang on tree - cut circle out of white paper, fold in half & half again, cut diamond out of edges, unfold, stick onto same size colour paper for contrasting backing. Hole punch, thread string thru & tie to tree. Voila! For extra pizazz sprinkle with glitter.

Thank you Samantha, here is our version of your snowflakes . .


Fold, fold and fold again.                                                          Snip, snip, snip!


We then brushed on some glue                                          and then decorated with glitter.


We also made snowflakes from patty pans.                         Our finished decorations!

A big thank you to everyone who shared their ideas. That is what makes The Little Big Book Club so special - all the wonderful members who are passionate about reading to their children and are happy to share their ideas with each other. I know that we will be having lots of fun in the holidays.

But that's not all! We are giving you two more chances to win!

I would now like to invite you, the readers of this blog to comment below and let me know whose activity you would like to try with the little ones in your life. Everyone who leaves a comment will be in the draw to win one of our featured books for January 2012 AND the person who receives the most votes will also receive one of our January 2012 featured books.

Good luck, happy reading and fun playing!

Comments (8)

Samantha's snowflakes get the vote from me.  We have had a couple of rainy days here and that idea gave us some extra christmas craft ideas to fill in the day.  We have used different coloured paper and hung them on our tree.  Keep up the good work LBBC!

Yah - I tricked the spam alert!
Love the snowflakes - we did them last year and they are beautiful but think I will try the shaving cream snow man. My son can make it on the trampoline then I will hose him (and it) off. A good clean mess! Happy Christmas everyone (ho ho ho).
I'm going to do the white play dough one! My kids are only one and (almost) three so they'll love the sensory experience, and it's one they can do together! The crushed ice is a great sensory experience for them too, and we have an ice crusher!

I think Amber D's Sparkle Snow Paint sounds like fun and something my girls would love to play with!

I think samathas snowflakes look fantastic...we might have to try that one.  Love ALL the idea! :-)

I'm with amber on this one coz I really like the sensory tub with the coloured ice cubes....

I know I'm late... but last year with my kids... we drew a snowman on a white board and then soaked tissues in water, wadded them up into a ball and let loose on poor old Frosty... It was great fun... a bit messy (we had to do it indoors as it is winter here) and the best part is that good Old Frosty starts to melt as the water from the snowballs hits the whiteboard drawing...

My kids would play for hours ... just make sure you don't leave the tissue box out and encourage the kids to reuse the existing balls!

This year (as we don't have snow at the moment) we have taken to filling white garbage bags with paper to form super giant snowballs... snowball fight anyone?!

Oh.... before I forget... there is also a great site online which allows the kids to cut snowflakes with out the risk/ paper... mine love it!!!!

bye for now and a merry Christmas to everyone!!

I'll be honest - I'm voting for myself, Amber D ;-) I really want to win a copy of the book for my kids!

I'll be trying out several of the activities suggested above, as well as revisiting a few that we've done before. Great fun :-)

Thanks for running these great competitions, LBBC.