Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ice Play

We continue our study of winter, the subtle changes of the elements and the wonderful transformations of water. Foreseeing that we were going to have some extreme temperatures, I thought it would be a good time to make some ice of our own.

We gathered a few containers from the recycling bin and interesting shaped ones from our drawers. When I asked how we would get the water outside, Lucia thought of using her watering cans. (These have come in handy for bath time, too!)

And voila, we watered our containers and added a little food coloring. We also brought out some of the treasures we gathered during our fall nature walks. We noticed that for the most part pine cones and acorns float. Sticks became a handle “like for popsicles,” she said.


We also discovered that there were already some other containers filled with ice; a pot with a frozen plant and our wonderful sensory play container, which we turned around and ended up with a great BIG block of ice.

We checked on the water a few times over the next hours, and day. “It takes a long time for them to freeze!” she said. “Hmm, maybe it’s not cold enough,” she added. When the water finally froze, the temperature was a little too cold for us.


Finally, this afternoon, at a balmy 30 ° (Fahrenheit, mind you! about -2 Celsius) we braved the elements and went out to play with the ice. We hung the muffin tin ones to make a mobile.

We made sculptures and discovered how tricky it can be to move ice around. “It is SO slippery,” said the little one. 


We also brought out the play animals to skate on the big block of ice. That brought about a lot of pretend play and discussion around skills on the ice.

Finally, the most exciting part was to stand on the big block of ice and pretend to conduct an orchestra, like the little boy on the internet.

The ice is waiting for us outside for more explorative play. If you live in an area that happens to be warm right now, perhaps you could freeze the water in the freezer, and get a nice relief from the heat. As for us, we will continue to enjoy our winter!

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