Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ice Ice Baby!

Considering the temperatures outdoors have been in single digits and there is a long weekend coming up, I thought ice sculptures might be a fun activity for brave and adventurous moms (No, no...not crazy. Adventurous!) I attempted to do ice sculptures with the children last year indoors and had epic failure. I think the key is creating the sculptures outside (not possible with fifteen children). Older children may enjoy this activity with younger siblings.

I saw and saved this idea from Family Fun magazine many years ago. I checked on their website and although the picture and directions are different from what I have, the basic concept is the same I decided before I posted this idea to attempt an ice sculpture on my deck.

I used any Tupperware, Glad, Zip-loc, empty butter, Cool-whip, sour cream, cottage cheese container I could find in my kitchen. I sprayed each container very lightly with cooking spray. This made removing the ice much easier. I also tried using small plastic soda bottles and two liter bottles with the tops cut off. This created a great shape but were difficult to remove outdoors. If you want that cylinder shape I would suggest thawing those pieces indoors for easy removal. Also, the Family Fun activity suggested using the freezer. I don't know about you but there is no room in my freezer for twenty plus plastic tubs. I put all the containers on my deck in the morning and they were frozen by the next afternoon. Fill all your containers with water and stick them outside. So much easier.

Now to assemble your sculpture-the Family Fun directions have you using a spray bottle to spray a little bit of water to adhere the ice blocks. Didn't happen. The snow is so light and powdery that I placed snow between the blocks and then did a quick spray around to mortar the blocks into place. That seemed to work pretty well. I had a lot of fun creating my ice sculpture. I'm not sure what my neighbors thought.

A few suggestions-unmold all the ice before you want the children to get started. Make sure they wear water proof mittens/gloves or have extra gloves and mittens on hand in case they get wet like mine did. Monitor the amount of time they spend outdoors in extreme cold. Have hot chocolate and marshmallows ready when they come inside!

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