If it is still freezing hard during the night where you live, you can try this easy and fun art project. Find some paper plates, cups, tupperware containers, anything with an interesting shape that you can get ice out of in one piece pretty easily. I like the paper plates because you can kind of peel them off. Fill your containers with water. Now add pretty things from the yard or neighborhood. Berries, ferns, petals, rose hips, bits of evergreen foliage, anything you like. Finally, cut a length of twine and make sure the two ends are completely submerged. This will be your hanger. Leave them outside. In the morning the decoration will be ready to hang on a tree, a fence, or your front door.
They look very pretty sparkling in the sun, but of course they melt faster there. Their ephemeral nature is part of their charm, and my kids enjoyed predicting which would last the longest.
You can also run one piece of twine through several plates, creating an “ice mobile”. This is the style I read about in a wonderful book that gave me this whole idea. Nature’s Playground by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield is filled with charming crafts, games, and other fun things to do outside. It is highly recommended, even for those who already spend a lot of time outside. For example, they suggest you skip the same old snowman to make a snow hedgehog, with his back studded with sticks as his spines.
Making ice ornaments or mobiles is super easy. Deputize any kids to gather up the materials to use as decoration. It is a great way to get them to notice the surprising number of colorful and beautiful things still outside even in the grey depths of late February. Although we also did use a few thing from inside, including the dried petals of a sunflower from the fall.
(This post is part of a series I am doing about creating with nature. The first entry is here.)