Winter Wonderland Snow Covered Trees

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Students will learn how to paint snow covered trees as they create winter wonderland paintings.

By Rebecca Engelman [Rebecca is an art educator at Cathedral School in Bismarck, ND.]


  • Instruction on the structure of trees.
  • Emphasis on how the tree gets smaller as it grows and branches and twigs.
  • Observation of how snow sets on branches.

What You Need:

  • Variety of colored construction papers in shades of blue.
  • Assorted brown crayons.
  • White tempera
  • White glitter
  • Paint brushes

What You Do:

If possible, take students outside after a snowfall to observe how the snow sits on the upper side of the tree branches. Students should also observe how the tree is thick at the base (their own legs and stomachs),divides into smaller branches (like their arms), and then split again into smaller twigs (their fingers).

  1. Have students choose a shade of blue paper for their background.
  2. Students draw trees on their blue paper starting at the bottom of the tree.
    • Use a brown crayon and press hard.
    • Make the branches reach towards the sky.
    • Make sure that branches get smaller as they divide.
    • Select another shade of brown crayon and layer it over the first brown. (Gives the tree a sense of texture)
  3. Use thick white tempera to paint snow on the top-side of the branches.
  4. Add snow to the ground, around the tree.
  5. You may use an old toothbrush dipped in white paint to spatter snowflakes on the background.
  6. Quickly sprinkle white glitter on the wet tempera paint to make the “snow” glisten.

Snow covered trees.

I am an elementary art teacher at Ridgemont Elementary School in Mt. Victory, Ohio. My fourth grade class recently completed your project “Winter Wonderland” which I found on the KinderArt website (with slight variations; we used pastel to highlight the sky area before we drew our trees and we skipped the glitter because we were out of it!). Let me say that it was a complete success! When I hung these artworks on the wall of our cafeteria in January, everyone raved about them! No one could believe that they had been done by 4th graders. The class has been so proud of their project and pleased with all the compliments they have received (and so have I). Thanks so much for your idea.

~Marianne Galyk (See the work from Marianne’s 4th graders at the top of this lesson and below.)

Winter Wonderland Snow Covered Trees