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4 fun things you can freeze

 

Photo by Forsaken Fotos licensed CC BY 2.0

Winter brings with it lots of fun stuff like sledding, skating and snowmen — oh, and ice! It may be cold and slippery, but boy does it look cool when things like trees and statues that are normally not frozen become covered in ice. And you don't have to wait for nature to bring you awesome-looking frozen stuff. Grab some gloves and get freezing!

Freeze balloons!

Blue, green, purple, yellow and red frozen balloon-ice orbs with a dusting of snow on a snowy deck

Photo by Brandon Blahnik licensed CC BY 2.0

Water balloons aren’t just for summer! But you don’t want to toss around the winter variety, these ones are for turning into beautiful, sparkling, colourful ice orbs.

snowflakeTake a balloon and add a few drops of food colouring inside, pick any colour you like.

snowflakeUsing your kitchen or bathroom sink, put the open end of the balloon right under the faucet, and slowly fill it with water while holding the balloon from the bottom — you don’t want it to slip because coloured water will fly all over the place!

snowflakeWhen the balloon is full, tie a knot at the top and gently move it around in your hands to make sure the colour blends smoothly into the water.

snowflakeNow freeze! Set the balloon outside and, if you can, pack some snow around it to help it freeze. If it’s not cold enough outdoors, just use your freezer!

snowflakeWhen the water inside the balloon is frozen, have an adult cut the knot off. Then pull away the balloon’s plastic to reveal the frozen orb inside!

Tip: You can replace the balloons with plastic gloves to get pretty (and kind of creepy) colourful, frozen hands! Just be careful of the frozen fingers when you unwrap the plastic, or the ice hands may be missing a few digits.

Freeze toys!

A small toy of a caveman frozen under ice

Photo by Pascal licensed CC0 1.0

Want to excavate a dinosaur from an ice age-looking scene? Or just curious to see what it looks like when your toys are trapped in a block of ice?

snowflakeGrab a small, plastic toy and be sure that, whatever you choose, it can get wet!

snowflakeFind a plastic container that your toy can fit in — that could be a large ice tray, a sandwich container, or even an empty and cleaned yogurt container.

snowflakeDrop your chosen toy into the container and fill with water, then freeze! Set the container outside if it’s cold enough, or just put it in the freezer. (If your toy is dropping to the bottom of the container, and you’d like it to be frozen in the middle of your ice block, fill your container halfway with water and let it freeze. Next, place your toy on top, fill the container to the top and let that freeze.)

snowflakeOnce the water has frozen, pop your ice block out of its container — run the container under warm water for a little bit if you’re having trouble getting the ice to slide out.

snowflakeNow put on your archaeologist hat! Explore your frozen toy with a magnifying glass, then try to get it out by chipping away with a spoon or melting the block with salt or warm water.

Tip: Before freezing, add food colouring to the water if you want it to look like your plastic pal is frozen in a green swamp or blue ocean.

Freeze bubbles!

A bubble on a yellow bubble wand on top of snow, the top of the bubble is starting to freeze

Photo by Patrik Nygren licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

When it’s warm out, bubbles look almost magical in the way they float through the air, changing colour depending on how the light hits them. But bubbles in the winter? Even cooler. (Hehe, get it?)

snowflakeTo make your bubbles, you can either use the pre-made bubble mix that comes with its own wand, or make it yourself. All you need to make your own is water mixed with liquid soap or baby shampoo, and a paperclip attached to a straw to use as your bubble wand.

snowflakeIf the weather outside is chilly enough for your bubbles to freeze (there’s no exact temperature, but it should be colder than -10°C), heat your bubble mix in the microwave for a few seconds. Heating the mixture will stop it from freezing in the bottle or on your wand before you get the chance to make some bubbles!

snowflakeWhen you’re outside, try to make the bubbles as high up as you can, so there’s time for them to travel through the air and get nice and cold. If you can, catch the bubble on your wand or hand (be sure to wear gloves or mittens!) before it hits the ground so there’s less chance of it shattering.

snowflakeIf it’s not cold enough outside, never fear! Another option is here! Find a plate that you can put in the freezer. Then, using a straw, blow a bubble onto the plate. Place the plate into the freezer very carefully and wait for about 30 minutes to an hour for the bubble to freeze.

snowflakeOnce the bubbles are frozen, they look like mini, rainbow-reflecting crystal balls. Some bubbles will deflate — creating a frozen pattern on top — and some will crack like an egg, but if you poke them, all will leave behind a pretty film that some say looks like fairy wings!

Tip: Want your bubbles to do more than just reflect the colours of the rainbow? Add a few drops of food coloring to your mix so you’re left with red, yellow or purple frozen bubbles — or any colours you like!  

Freeze chalk!

Okay, you’re not freezing chalk exactly, but you are making ice chalk! Want to add colour to that snowman or snow fort, or even draw a picture on top of snow? Grab some ice chalk.

snowflakeYou’ll need food colouring, equal parts water and cornstarch, some dish soap (this makes clean up easier in case you get ice chalk on your winter gear), an ice tray and some bowls for mixing.

snowflakeMix the water, cornstarch and soap together then divide into smaller bowls. Pick the colours you want to use and add a few drops of food colouring into the mixture, one colour per bowl — don’t be afraid to make those drops big, you want the colour to be nice and bright!

snowflakePour your colourful mixes into the ice tray and let freeze, either outside or in the freezer, for four to six hours.

snowflakeOnce frozen, pop your ice chalk out of the tray and bring outside to use just like regular chalk. Add colour to all your snow creations!

Tip: Leave the ice chalk outside between plays so it has to chance to freeze again overnight between uses.

For more fun and colourful things you can freeze, check out these rainbow ice sculptures.