Snowman Weather Gauge STEM Activity

A snowman weather gauge is a fun craft for kids to make to measure snowfall. Set your snowman outside on a wintry day to observe how much snow falls around him.

measure snowfall STEM for kids

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There are so many ways for kids to play and learn on a snowy day.

We have lots of ideas for outdoor winter activities with snow, including how to build and observe a snow gauge. 

A gauge to measure snowfall provides a fun STEM activity for young scientists.

  • Kids use engineering skills to design and build the snowman with foam plates and basic craft supplies.

  • Kids can make predictions and observe the amount of snowfall as it piles up around the snowman

Winter brings snow to many places around the world, with different amounts of snow.

(Sometimes this means more time inside with indoor snowman crafts if the weather is especially cold or blustery.) 

Extend the snowman snow gauge activity by exploring areas that get lots of snow versus areas that get little or no snow.

Make the best of snow days in your area with a fun snowman weather gauge craft and activity.


Snowman weather gauge


Supplies for a snowman weather gauge


Snowman weather gauge preschool craft


  • Foam plates: Use two large for the body, one small for the head or cut a large plate smaller. You can also use round plastic container lids, or cut circles from foam trays.
  • Foam tray: Draw a hat on a black tray with chalk. Cut out the hat. Cut round buttons from the leftover part of the tray.
  • Use trays from packaged baked goods, not from meat products, for safe handling even though the trays will be washed.
  • Craft foam sheets: Cut out a scarf and a carrot nose for the snowman. 

Instructions for the weather gauge craft

Snowman craft using recycled foam trays


Step 1.

Build the snowman by attaching the foam plates to a long strip of plastic or wood with a glue gun. We glued our snowman to a wooden slat from a window blind.

Step 2.

Measure upward from the bottom of the first foam plate in inches or centimeters. Mark increments with a permanent marker.


Snowman STEM activity for kids


Step 3.

Secure your snowman to a railing, post or even a tree trunk with rope or string. The bottom foam plate rests on the ground or on a surface such as a deck or table.

In our case, the bottom of the first foam plate rests on top of a coffee can on a deck. 

We measured the snow using the top of the coffee can as our starting point. 


Winter science for kids with a snowman weather gauge


Our snowman was placed outside just before a snowstorm. We had a lot of snow that day!

The top plate actually blew off in the wind but we were able to replace it before the snow ended. 

This is a fun and easy science activity. Kids will love watching the snow get deeper and deeper as it swirls and piles up around the foam plate snowman.

And unless you can read the numbers from a window or doorway, someone will have to bundle up and go outside to check the height of the snow! 

Learning through play

1. Measure the different parts of the snowman as it is being made.

2. Measure the height of the completed snowman.

3. Make predictions on how much snow will fall.

4. Bring some snow inside on large plastic trays to make snowballs. Build snowmen using snowballs of different sizes.

Winter Science Activities at Embark on the Journey


STEAM principles

To build the snowman, kids will incorporate S.T.E.A.M principles.

Science: Observe changes in weather.

Technology: Use scissors and glue to make the weather gauge.

Engineering: Design and build the snowman and its support.

Art: Choose colors for the hat and scarf.

Math: Count the foam plates, line up plates by size, measure the snowfall.


Hands-on interaction with materials promotes critical thinking, applying STEAM principles as kids play!

How much snow will you get in your area today?



Measure snowfall with snowman craft



Hands-on activities book (affiliate link)

50+ science, technology, engineering, art, math projects for kids

STEAM Kids 50+ Activities for Kids


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