Leave the warm fire and have some fun in the cold!
It’s quite easy to stay inside and not leave the comfortable sofa and warm fire when winter is this cold and harsh but there is still fun to be had outside, apart from building snowmen!
As an alternative to taking the children on a quick-paced, rosy-cheek inducing walk, these ice suncatchers are a breeze to make and look lovely hanging from a tree. They also act as a bit of a weather gauge – just a quick peek at them through the window will let you know if it’s still freezing outside.
You will need:
- A bun tray
- String or wool
- Water and some bits from nature like pretty leaves or berries
- Other bits to decorate – we used food dye and glitter.
- Half fill the bun tray with water
- Place your chosen bits and pieces in each hollow, making sure the items are submerged
- Cut some string or wool (we used pieces about 20cm in length), loop the ends round the pan making sure you leave a loop outside the dish to hang it up with
- Add more water until the bun dips are full, but be careful not to over fill them
- Leave them outside overnight to freeze or if it’s not that cold place the tray in the freezer
- To release the sun catchers once frozen run some hot water over the bottom of the tray or do as we did and release them once the day has warmed up a bit.
Another version of this is to make a large, donut-shaped suncatcher by filling a bowl with water and decoration and placing a small bottle in the middle which will form a hole, enabling you to thread some ribbon through. We used an empty food colouring bottle.
Some people have made very colourful giant suncatchers involving coloured ice-cubes. The only limit seems to be your imagination.
I preferred our sun-catchers decorated with natural materials whereas the children loved the colourful glittery ones. You could experiment, if you had a mould big enough, and freeze small, plastic toy dinosaurs, shells, Lego men or herbs. You could also freeze bird seed, giving them some much -needed food when the suncatcher melts.
Obviously this is a good activity to do if snow isn’t forecast, unless you fancy digging your creations out of a drift, but if your garden is covered in the white stuff, Cathy has some great snow activities for both inside and out.