Introduction: Easy Ice Sculpture - for Kids of All Ages

This is an easy and fun activity for the whole family, especially when the temperatures get's really cold.  You may find your children will be spending more time outside arranging, rearranging, and adding on to their ice sculpture.

Caution:  Please keep an eye on young children and limit their time outside when it is very cold.  Children sometimes do not realize that they may be in danger of frostbite or hypothermia.

Step 1:

First, get an assortment of balloons ranging from traditional balloons to balloon sculpting (snake) balloons.

Next, put a couple grains of sand into each balloon.  The sand will act as a freezing nuclei for the water.  Without it, some of the water in the balloons may not freeze.  To learn more about this effect, look up "superchilled", "super cold", or "super freezing".

Step 2:

Set balloons outside when it is cold.

Be creative.  For example, take the balloon sculpting (long snake balloons) and fashion them around objects (for example, orange safety cones).

Step 3:

When the balloons are frozen, peel off the balloons from the ice.  Due to trapped air bubbles, many of the balloons will produce some very unique patterns.

Step 4:

An alternative is to add some food coloring to the ice.  In this case, food coloring was added in water pitchers.  The food coloring freezes last and tends to concentrate in the middle of the ice.  To color the outside of the ice, place a few drops of food coloring to the outside of an already frozen structure.

Step 5:

Arrange pieces in some order.  In this case, an ice castle.  For an added effect, place Christmas lights underneath them and turn them on at night.  People passing by will be amazed of your ice sculpture.

Comments

author
CollinA7 made it! (author)2016-02-26

Mix food coloring with a cup of whole milk then mix that into the water to make a solid color block O' ice.

Blue Bolt.jpgsuperbowl.jpgcolor vlocks.jpg
author
CollinA7 made it! (author)2016-02-26

Mix food coloring with a cup of whole milk then mix that into the water to make a solid color block O' ice.

Blue Bolt.jpgsuperbowl.jpgcolor vlocks.jpg
author
CarlTheDabbler (author)2015-07-25

This is really cool. I'll have to give this a try with the kids this winter.

author
maryanna warner (author)2015-02-24

thanks its been so cold here... Great idea!:-D



-The world Is Quiet Here

author
TamarasSoliloquy (author)2015-02-16

Perfect idea!! I know what I'm doing today!!! Thank you for the awesome instruct able!!!

author
VintageCollectible. (author)2015-01-11

This is insanely awesome! Unique creations will add fun to my winter snow land.

author
rbdoer (author)2014-07-16

Wow, that is sooo cool! I'm going to have to do that this coming winter. Adding colored lights will really make it stand out at night even better! Thanks for the great idea!!

author
waggy101 (author)2014-01-02

Wow my friends would love this so much thanks! How do you think we could make a dome? Kinda like an igloo!

author
ddentrem (author)2012-11-03

so simple, but so ingenious! Thanks for sharing - I can't wait to try this out :)

author
HollyMann (author)2012-10-18

I also can't wait to do this with my son and nieces this winter...which I'm sure will be soon...as we're in Wisconsin....thanks for this awesome istructable. I have heard of making the giant "marbles" with the regular balloons, but never thought of using the long ones!!!

author
straycatmeow (author)2012-03-18

Ok, I seriously can't wait for winter next year. My kids are going to have soo much fun doing this. Great Instructable!

author
Korlee (author)2012-03-10

WOW!
I was like yeah, so much can people teach to children.. But this sounds FUN! Not so much frosen weather left at this winter (hope so) but next and... :D Thank you!

author
singerguy74 (author)2012-03-10

Nice, 'ible Mr. S! Nice to see you on here. One of these days you may have to tackle an instructable for one of your famous wooden clocks.

author
kornellas (author)2012-03-09

i like this. Very Clever. Thank you for sharing!

author
canida (author)2012-03-08

This looks awesome! I love the big long wriggly balloons, and the use of color. It almost makes me wish it would freeze here. :)

author
boomfiziks (author)canida2012-03-09

We've had a very mild winter this year. I'm hoping to do a larger scale of this project next year.

Freezing water with food coloring is a neat effect. My favorite effect are the use of lights under the ice sculptures.

Someone gave me a "how to" book of how to make balloon animals. I never used it, but thought freezing water in them would be a neat effect. A friend came up with wrapping the balloon around the orange cone.

When it gets cold enough, I hope you give it a try.

author
Attmos (author)2012-03-08

coolest idea i've ever seen, and i almost went this whole winter without this instructable. thank you, i will be trying this one.

author
boomfiziks (author)Attmos2012-03-09

Sadly this winter has been very mild where I live. I highly recommend this activity. Sometimes, spraying the pieces with water, using a spray bottle helps to make the different pieces stick together.

Also, don't forget to add some sort of impurity in each balloon, such as a few grains of sand, dirt, couple small pieces of grass. I learned the hard way that sometimes the water will not freeze because the water is too pure and the balloons are too smooth. They need something to start the crystallization process.

author
Samuel Bernier (author)2012-03-09

Nice. The cone in brillant. Did you enter the snow challenge? That would be a winner for me.

author

I'm glad that you like it. Yes, I entered it in the snow challenge. I really didn't think people would like it, but it's a fun activity, easy to do, and gets a lot of attention.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a high school chemistry and physics teacher.
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