Monday, 6 December 2010

Ice decorations

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This is the perfect activity for when it is really cold outside. Inspiration came from some apples floating in a bucket of water that froze overnight. It’s great for toddlers who love playing with water (which one doesn’t?) and also teaches them about water turning to ice. As with most of these activities, it would be brilliant for older children who can get really creative with what they freeze (you can even experiment with adding things like salt and slices of lemon to see how they change the freezing point) . We have loved this one so have done it a couple of times while the weather allows.

You will need:
  • Ice cube tray/muffin cases/some sort of packaging to be the moulds for the ice.
  • Jug
  • Water
  • String or ribbon
  • Collection of things from the garden to freeze into the ice moulds.
  • Baking tray.
1. Lay out your moulds - we used the packaging from some biscuits the first time and some star shaped muffin cases second time round. A normal ice cube tray would work fine. Fill each mould half way with water.
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2. Carefully drop small decorations - small flowers, seeds, leaves, berries, buds etc etc - into each mould. You can make them as simple or elaborate as you like, but remember that the decorations will move around as you transfer the moulds to the freezer. Tie pieces of string or ribbon into loops and lay them very carefully into the moulds, leaving the ends to hang over the edge of the mould.
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3. Transfer the moulds on a tray either into the freezer or outside (if it is cold enough). Leave over night.

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4. Remove your now frozen moulds from the freezer and pop out the decorations. Using the string loops, hang the decorations on a tree or anything that lends itself to being decorated in the garden!

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Or you could...
  • Experiment with dying the water with food colouring.
  • Put sequins and glitter into the water.
  • With older children, keep a record of the temperature outside and see when the decorations start to melt.