Sensational Snowman Building Contest Hot
By January – snow is in the air!
It’s also on the ground. This makes it the perfect time for communities with snow to gather residents and hold their very own snowman building contest.
For communities in the Northwest, Northeast and all cities in the central part of the country (to about the latitude of Omaha, Nebraska) it’s time to make use of that fluffy white stuff and get creative!
This event can easily turn into a day-long activity where families are coming and going most of the day with minimal supervision. However, make sure that everyone knows the cut-off time for judging. This way, they can come to the event to craft their snowy creation before the final buzzer. Two to three hours are usually needed to craft the more elaborate designs.
Planning and prep
Obviously, this event will only work if you have snow on the ground. Schedule it for a day when you know your area will be in the thick of it, then keep an eye on forecasts to ensure that the weather is cooperating as you come up on the actual day.
If you need to schedule the event early into the season, you may want to have an alternate activity planned as a back-up in case you end up being low in snow when the advertised day rolls around.
Image source: Pinterest
**BONUS** To make the outdoor gathering even more fun, consider crafting or commissioning some snowman-themed photo-booth props for clicking selfies outdoors with your residents.
Encourage residents to bring their own building materials as needed. You can also provide some essential building tools like:
- Small buckets and shovels
- Plastic cups
- Old clothing
- Traditional items for facial features (charcoal, carrots, etc. - for those aiming for the traditional snowman look)
However, with this event, creativity should be encouraged!
Share imaginative pictures with residents ahead of time to get them excited about the event. Announce the judging categories and let them know the various prizes you’ll be offering.
In keeping with the winter theme, you may want to offer “cold” prizes to your residents. Consider awards like:
- Tickets to a local ice skating spot
- Tickets to the Nutcracker (or other winter-themed sporting event or festival)
- Awards of winter- and snow- themed books or movies
- Gift certificates for frozen yogurt or ice cream …would all make for “cool” rewards!
Alternatively, you may consider small snowman trophies or metals for the various winners in each category, or participation certificates. This will ensure as many people as possible get to take home a keepsake.
Voting and winners
When choosing winners, you can make it a staff and management decision that same day, or tally resident votes on social media in the days after the event. Holding a photo-sharing type “like contest” will encourage likes and shares from outside your community as well. Residents’ snow creation photos with the most likes and shares in each category can win the awards.
Image source: Imgur
Either way, get creative with your categories to encourage outrageous designs.
Some snowman category ideas include:
- Best traditional snow-man
- Best snow-woman
- Best snow creature
- Tallest (or biggest) snowman
- Smallest snowman
- Most creative use of accessories
- Most colorful snowman (food coloring only!)
- Best snow-superhero
- Funniest snowman
- …or any other categories you can think up!
To encourage residents to come in and warm up every once and awhile:
- Put a few gallons of spiced apple cider in the clubhouse crockpots
- Serve up hot chocolate with marshmallows
- Make herbal teas and coffee available for the grownups
- Set out goodies like no-bake coconut “snowball” cookies, and powdered sugar-dusted “snowball” Rice Krispy treats.
**TIP** Outdoor play in winter can get cold fast, and not all your residents may be adequately dressed for the weather and season. You may want to consider having extra hats and gloves on hand for residents – especially children – to borrow. Purchase inexpensive gloves in a variety of sizes and have residents check them out from a central location for as long as they’re needed.
Keep your residents warm and engaged and you’re all sure to have a blast at your upcoming snowman-building contest.