When my son was just starting to put sentences together, his favorite catch phrase was
“Mama/Dada play too?” This was his invitation for us to join him in his play. He didn’t actually
want us to play though, he just wanted us to be there and watch him play. I’ve learned a lot
about play since then. As the adults in their lives, we often feel the need to entertain our
children, when all they really want is to know that we are there and present. We hear about
helicopter parenting, hummingbird parenting, free-range parenting and recently I read about
Have you ever thought about what kind of adult you are when it comes to building a snowman
with a child? A lot of it may have to do with the age of the child in your life, but some of it
probably has to do with everyone’s personalities and parenting styles too. There are a lot of
ways to build a snowman.
My personal favorite part of helping a child with a snowman is forming the initial ball for them.
Handing it off and then watching them get to work rolling through the deep snow. As the ball
gets bigger and heavier they usually commission you again as it gets too heavy to push and
again for the lifting part. Some adults prefer to be fully involved or maybe their children just insist
that they are. “I’ll do the big one and you work on the head!” Many hands make light work.
After the snowman itself is all formed, the possibilities are endless. There are a lot of ways to
build a snowman.
Do some families plan ahead and get all the accessories ready beforehand? It has never
occurred to me to be so organized. Do you have a snowman kit, with all the eyes, nose and
scarf ready to go? What a wonderful tradition to bring that out every year and watch the
snowman come back to life. Or do you scrounge around in the bushes looking for the perfect
berries or pinecones to shove in its face and watch them fall off a thousand times. Maybe you
are the finder and the children like to be the ones to poke the pieces into place.
Maybe you are the one watching peacefully out the window while your children do it all on their
There are many seasons of parenting, with many personalities of children and adults. There are
many ages and stages of watching the children grow as they become more independent.
There are a lot of ways to build a snowman.
Jessica Lewis is the owner and lead teacher of a small private preschool in Wilton. She has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband have two boys of their own and she is inspired by children and enjoy learning and growing along with them.