Ice Ice Baby!

It’s going to be 100 degrees today! One hundred degrees! And that’s in the shade, don’t forget. Do your kids play in the shade? I didn’t think so.

That’s why I went hunting for a great extreme-heat craft/playtime event for Crowley. And I stumbled onto pure frozen gold. It’s from a blog I’ve come to worship, Happy Hooligans.

In fact this idea came with a HUGE sell. Blogger Jackie said this activity would occupy my child’s attention for an HOUR and a HALF! Is that even possible? Never! LIAR!

I decided I’d be happy if he enjoyed it for 20 minutes. 30 tops.

Did it work? In a word, YES!  FOR 90 GLORIOUS MINUTES! Just like she said!

Oh me of little faith.

It’s simple. I collected some small items and put them in a sand castle bucket filled with water. I put the bucket in the freezer overnight. Once frozen I popped the ice block out.

Then I handed Crowley  a bin full of warm water, two jumbo plastic syringes (not the needle kind – just for the record) to squirt the ice with the warm water, and a bottle of grinder sea salt. His job was to free the objects trapped in the ice. No chipping. No hammering. Just melting. A particularly awesome activity having just viewed Happy Feet 2 last night!

I chose toys and foam letters that reinforce our themes this month.

A couple of notes: You can use any kind of salt shaker but I chose the more expensive sea salt with built-in grinder for motor skill development. If you want to add a little more science to this project, bring out some sugar too and conduct an experiment to see if sugar melts ice as well as salt.

Also, in one bucket, I added blue food coloring to create even more interest… which it did.

For some reason, for this age, colored anything is interesting. Eventually, I added red food coloring to the bin of warm water, which made it 1000 times more interesting to a 3-year-old. And so Crowley set about freeing his toys and sure enough… an HOUR and a HALF went by before I had to bring our fun to a close to serve lunch!

So we are doing this again today! And if it gets too hot to be outside, I’ll turn our bath tub into a frozen toy freeing station!



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