Over the holidays, our family bought some cheap snow globe kits from a craft store and made personal snow globes, and we incorporated the expected themes like pirates, Christmas, or under the sea designs.
My husband, however, made one to help his students learn about the Battle of the Bulge, something that at first seemed a little macabre, seeing as this was considered one of the largest and coldest battles fought by the United States in World War II.
It actually turned out to be a simple design and a good teaching resource utilizing those little green army men that can be found in even the cheapest Dollar Store toy section.
Since this battle took place 75 years ago (from December 1944 to January 1945), this simple winter craft is a good visual to teach kids about this part of history, as well as give them an idea to use with school reports or presentations:
- One blank plastic snow globe kit (found in most craft stores)
- Two cheap “Green Army Men”
- Small piece of plastic plant (like the little plants found in aquariums)
- Two small pieces of white polymer clay
- Glycerin (found in cake decorating and baking areas)
- White and/or silver glitter
Make two small little snow “mounds” from the polymer, and place a piece of plant in the middle of one mound, then remove it. Bake according to package (usually about 10 minutes at 275°F for such small pieces). Use a small drop of super glue or a glue gun to glue the plant piece into the mound.
On the base of the snow globe, arrange the two army men and snow mounds how they will best fit in the globe, then carefully glue each piece to the base (once more, super glue or a glue gun work best).
Once you’re ready, turn the globe upside down in a bowl or mug big enough to hold it in place. Pour about a tablespoon of glitter in the bottom, then fill with water and about a ¼ teaspoon of glycerin (this helps the glitter swirl better after shaking). Some people like to use distilled water, but we found if you heat regular water a little first before using, it also works well.
Fill it to the very edge, so when you place the base and in it, it will overflow slightly. This helps reduce the bubble at the top.
This is a great teaching tool not just for families, but to keep in a classroom to remind students of the cold, stark conditions faced by these soldiers 75 years ago, as well as the men and women who serve in armed forces around the world in all conflicts.