How To Build An Igloo

Building a real snow igloo is easy all you need is a washing up bowl! …Oh and a spade, that helps…and snow of course, lots of snow…and while you’re at it some thermals!

How to build a REAL IGLOO - a fun Winter construction activity for kids.A year or so ago a friend of mine Fiona, from Tots on Tour, told me about this idea and my boys have been keen to try it ever since. I was amazed by how well it actually worked.

How To Make A Real Snow Igloo

Draw a rough circle in the snow as a guide then simply fill a washing up bowl with snow and stamp it down to compact it. Tip it up to place your snow brick onto your marked circle and repeat until you’ve gone all the way round, leaving a small gap for the door. Then do the next layer making sure you overlap the joins just like you would with Lego. To make a dome simply bring in each row by a couple of centimeters and eventually they’ll meet at the top.

The teacher in me couldn’t help but take the opportunity for the children to develop their skills with this design and make activity. They’ve had the opportunity to develop their ideas, plan, make and evaluate their igloo and the construction process and they’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.

At first they spent time at home chatting about what equipment they’d need and planning a sequence of actions.

When we were out I let them make what I could see would be mistakes so that they had the opportunity to problem solve for themselves. To begin with they started on a gentle slope and soon realised their mistake and moved. Later they quickly spotted that rather than doing it all with the spade, the bowl could be filled more quickly by scooping up the snow initially and then topping up with the shovel. They also realised at the end that their initial circle had been too small and the finished igloo only accommodated one person at a time, on the plus side it was very quick to make because it was so small.

I loved how this project gave the boys a super opportunity to work together as a team and really listen to each other and communicate and adapt their own ideas.

Of course they had great fun knocking it down when they’d finished with it too!

How to build a REAL IGLOO - a fun Winter construction activity for kids.
Kicking Down The Igloo

We finished the day with lots of sledging and snowball fights…well it had to be done didn’t it!


Never leave children unattended with the igloo in case it collapses.

This activity supports Design and Technology at Key Stage 1 and 2: Developing, planning and communicating ideas; Working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products; Evaluating processes and products; Knowledge and understanding of materials and components.

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    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Wow, Hannah, thanks for sharing that, I’ve repinned it too. Their igloo is amazing, and so beautiful!
      I’d love to link up again and please feel free to share away! Thanks x

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Thanks, it was surprisingly easy. I guess we should have spent time smoothing down all the edges and filling any little gaps but we were too cold by then and had to head home for our hot chocolate. Yours looks really yummy.

  1. says

    Thank you for the design and idea of the washing up bowl. I have seen some lovely igloos on Country Kids the past 2 weeks and was only guessing at how they were made. Armed with your instructions all I need now is some snow! I love the way you allow the children to make their own mistakes and learn from them, looks like they got there in the end really well and all the better for being team work! Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Thanks for popping by. I’ve really enjoyed linking up to you, so thanks for hosting. It’s so lovely to see so many great ideas. x

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Thanks Sonia. What a shame you haven’t had much snow :-(
      I’m posting a ‘How to make an indoor igloo’ tomorrow, maybe that will work for you. x

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Thanks for popping by and telling us you liked it Wendy.
      I liked seeing your on with his book. It’s great when kids love to read isn’t it.

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      Thanks :-) Fingers crossed we’ll get a little more before winter’s completely over. I do love it so!

    • Emma (My Little 3 and Me) says

      I love your Outdoor Play Parties so thanks for letting me be part of it. It’s so great to see such a lot of wonderful ideas out there and people having great fun with their children. :-)

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