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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 02/ 5/2010

How to build a snowman

By Valerie Strauss

Building a snowman is a complicated business that is part art and part science.

You have to know how to dress, what supplies are necessary, what snow works best, how to build a base, how to then build other sections AND how to lift them so they don’t fall apart. Adding arms is another skill altogether.

And did you know you can use water to make a snowman last longer? I didn’t either.
You can learn all about this by viewing videos at Click here.

And for basic instructions, click here.

There are plenty of other instructions available the Internet too, including these, at And these, from Highlights for Children:

Here are the essential steps for a three-part snowman. Remember that it is harder than it looks.

--Dress in layers, lots of them. Scarves, hats, boots, gloves that won’t get wet. Staying warm is essential; it takes time to do this right.

--Find a location with plenty of snow or that allows you to easily roll a snowball from elsewhere. It takes more than you might think. The best snow is not the beautiful dry, powdery kind but snow that is heavier and a bit wet--the very kind that is going to cover the mid-Atlantic this weekend.

--Have all the things you want to dress the snowman; traditional calls for carrot noses and coal eyes, mouth and buttons but there’s no reason not to be creative.

--Build the base, the largest snowball, to sit on the bottom and hold up the body. Pack the snow tightly into a ball that is perhaps 2-3 feet wide. Flatten the top so the body can sit on it. Some people put a stick in the center of the base, with about half a foot sticking out, on which the body is then placed.

--The snowball that will be the body should be about 2/3 the size of the bottom. Roll it to the base and make sure you--or a big neighbor--can pick it up. Place it on the base. Pack some snow around the base to secure it.

--Roll the head into a ball about 2/3 the size of the middle. Carefully place and pack snow around the bottom to secure.

--Design the face, dress your creation.

--Now go inside. Warm up and have some hot chocolate.


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By Valerie Strauss  | February 5, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Tags:  building a snowman  
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