Arboretum News

Kid’s Activity: Rainbow Snow

Use food coloring and water to "paint" the snow.

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White snow makes are great canvas! Fill spray bottles with food coloring to make your own abstract art. Photo by Reba Luiken.

By Reba Luiken, Arboretum coordinator of informal interpretation

Snow is beautiful all on its own, and if you look closely, you’ll even notice that it reflects light in every color, just like a prism. Getting up close to nature (and snow) is one way to explore it, but it’s important for young children to move their whole bodies to develop large motor skills too. In this activity, kids will have the chance to create large colorful art outside. 

Silicone pastry brushes work well for painting snow. Photo by Reba Luiken.

– Snow!
– Spray bottles or other containers
– Food coloring
– Water
– Brushes, spoons, eye droppers, etc.


1. Add water and a few drops of food coloring to each container and mix.  I added 3-4 drops to make my colors. 

2. Carefully pack up your containers with lids. 

3. Head outside to a safe place to play where it’s okay to color the snow.

4. Spray, brush and play as you color snow.

Extensions: Using spray bottles helps to develop hand strength, but eye droppers are another great option to add in small motor skills to this activity. Young kids love the challenge of using eyedroppers to move colored water.

No snow? Too cold to go outside? You can re-imagine this project on paper. See our post on Spray Bottle Leaf Art for inspiration.

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