Introduction: Easy Ice Sculpture - for Kids of All Ages

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