Thursday, 13 September 2012

Things To Do With your Child: Ice Decorations

I did a fab activity with Rory this morning.  I thought I probably should seeing as yesterday was slack by anyone's standards and we did precisely nothing apart from watching DVDs and eating biscuits. Also, I plumbed new depths of Slumminess yesterday when, on noticing we had no clean cutlery, I gave him one of the free medicine spoons you get in the Calpol box to eat his yoghurt with. Slacker than slack.  Time to redeem myself:

Ice Decorations
You Will Need:

* Water
* A receptacle for the water (I used a cake tin. you could use anything that's OK to put in the freezer - a yoghurt pot, ice-cube tray, dog bowl - whatever)

* A freezer or below freezing conditions outside
*Interesting stuff to freeze into your water.  We used sequins, glitter and beads but the possibilities are endless - buttons, little toys, autumn leaves, wild flowers - anything.  Although not, say, the hamster. Just saying.

Method:

Get your child to pour some water into your container, then add whatever you've chosen to it.  For some reason it makes it far more exciting if they're allowed to stir it up. 




Let them suggest things to put in the water then talk about how you're going to put it in the freezer (or outside overnight if you're doing this in winter and it's below freezing).  Ask questions: What do you think will happen to the mixture? Why? Just before we put ours in the freezer, I made a loop out of ribbon and put half of it in the water so it would freeze inside it and make a hanging loop.

When a suitable amount of time has passed - it only took a couple of hours for ours to freeze, but we left it overnight because I wanted to look at it in the morning. You could do this or put it in the freezer before you go out for a few hours and take it out when you come back home - take it out of the freezer and let your child explore what has happened - encourage them to touch the ice and talk about it. Ask why has it turned into ice? What will happen next?  There is so much learning potential in this activity.




It will soon melt enough to be taken out of the container, and what you have then is a beautiful, magical looking ice decoration.

You can hang this up outside (or inside if you haven't thought this through and really want to spend the day mopping up a tidal wave of water and glitter have no other option).  Depending on the temperature, it will melt slowly or quickly and you can observe what happens to it and make predictions.  
On a freezing cold day, these will last until the temperature starts to rise above freezing, at which point they will melt slowly.  I'm already imagining Rory and I making a snowman in the back garden with lots of these twinkling in the trees on a snow day.

A great thing about this activity is that if you put something under the melting decoration to catch the sequins etc you can use them again, plus when your toddler has a screaming meltdown when it has melted and disappeared you can make another one but add different things to it or coloured water or make it different in some other way.  Ooooh - you could do little cut out paper snowflakes suspended in ice - two activities in one!

On that note, it really is time for me to leave this post as I'm showing my true colours (those of a secret early years education geek), and I feel the need to do something slummy to make up for it. Time for a Pot Noodle.

16 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! Gonna try it in winter. And don't worry, I've done the Calpol spoon thing too ;-) Us slummy mummies need to stick together!

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    1. :-D Does your child regularly have to eat cereal out of a mug too because you haven't washed up any bowls. PLEASE SAY YES.

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    2. No, I just give him the cereal packet...

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  2. What a great idea I may have grandchildren one day then we can play lol
    If I have a silly old lady day I may just do it anyway lol
    Hi thanks for coming over to my blog now following you

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    1. Yes, do it anyway! You need to practise for those just-in-case-grandchildren you know...

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  3. I've been wondering if it's worth collecting the medicine spoons and upon reading this, the answer is yes!! Great ice idea too! Slummy Mummy is much more achievable! Love it!

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    1. The amount of medicine spoons we have scares me. How can we possibly have got through that many bottles of Calpol and Nurofen in 3 years? Best not to think about it. head in the sand.

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  4. Great idea for using the medicine spoons :0). I hate doing crafty activities but this one looks simple enough for even me to attempt without having a breakdown - might give it a go in December to make some sparkly outside decorations!

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    1. Do it, do it, do it. It's practically mess free as long as you let it melt outside.

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  5. Do you reckon a 40 year woman could get away with doing this in wintertime just for the sheer heck of it? Even without any kids? *coughs* Or would that be the hallmark of a complete geeky saddo with too much time on her hands?

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    1. Absolutely. I regularly used to do these things on my own before I had Rory on the pretence of doing a trial run before doing them with my class at school.

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  6. Doing this for sure with my two tomorrow. Looks cute and water is much simpler to clean up than the fridge cake mix *shudder*
    Oh, and don't worry about the spoon thing, I've done the same. And cereal in mugs. Once at a smug mother's party (her child's, but lets face it, it was hers) Rowan went to eat a slice of cake without a plate. I was then treated like scum for the rest of the afternoon...

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    1. I rarely eat cake from a plate. I generally stand in the kitchen eating straight out of the cake tin in a manner that suggests it will be taken away from me if I stop to think.

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    2. In my household, it will be. Mine is sneakly scoffed as breakfast.

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    3. Lise, the reason you hover over the cake tin eating cake as if it will be wrenched from you is because as a child, your father and brother lay in wait watching to see if there was ANY indication that you might not finish it all.....

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  7. My kids are pretty grown up now but I want to try it!!

    Helenxx

    PS those calpol spoons come in handy dont they? I was quite sorry when mine were too big to have calpol.

    PPS we still run out of pots quickly as no. 1 son takes them all up to his room - where they take part in an interesting scientific experiment called "if I leave this bowl here for 3 weeks what shade will the resultant green furry growth be"?

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