What other fun things can I do for the kids with a week of -11 ºC (12.2 ºF) temperatures?
February 6, 2012 2:15 AM   Subscribe

What other fun things can I do for the kids with a week of -11 ºC (12.2 ºF) temperatures?

We’ve done overnight freezing experiments, water, water with salt, water with screen wash, wine etc. I’ve made a backyard skating rink with wood and a tarpaulin. We’ve tried to make snow with a pressure washer (too windy). We’ve hung out wet sheets to make them frozen stiff, thrown boiling water in the air to see it touches the ground or remains as vapour, we’ve cooked food in the woods over a tinder/standing deadwood fire. I was thinking about freezing a barrel of water to try some ice sculpture….

Please give me any other ideas you’ve got… I’ll give them a go…
posted by guy72277 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Blow bubbles! With normal water-and-dish-detergent bubble mix, you can blow bubbles and they will freeze in mid-air. You can let them fall on the ground or catch them in your hands. This is the most awesome thing ever, and even adults will enjoy it.
posted by whatzit at 3:04 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]

With the right equipment, overnight camping in these temps is fun, and something the kids will brag about for years (you didn't say what age the kids are, this might NOT be fun if they are too young. I used to take scouts in the 11 y/o and up range camping during the winter).
posted by HuronBob at 3:17 AM on February 6, 2012

Best answer: Make snow ice cream
posted by nickrussell at 3:18 AM on February 6, 2012

But remember: never eat yellow snow.

I would get some different things that can mold ice and make some shapes. Ice sculpture sounds cool though. Perhaps easier to make an ice slide rather than a thing.

Another thing you could do is get a thermometer and put different jars of water outside at different temperatures and measure how long they take to freeze.

Also, you could make naturally frozen ice pops. The fun bit is choosing the juice, fruit etc that goes into the ice pop.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:30 AM on February 6, 2012

Well, it's not really an experiment, but you can make bird seed balls for hungry birds.
This looks like fun.
posted by leigh1 at 3:30 AM on February 6, 2012

Best answer: If you can find maple syrup, you could make tire d'érable (also known as tire sur la neige). Instructions can be found here.
posted by Juniper Toast at 4:49 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Snow fort/igloo. Endless hours of mindless fun.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:50 AM on February 6, 2012

Not sure how old the kids are... so some of these suggestions may be for kids that are too old:
- Fabric Snow Dyeing (be sure to mix the dyes yourself, wearing a dust mask. Once the dyes are mixed you can let the kids heap the snow on the fabric and pour on the dyes).
- Ice vehicle races (make blocks of ice and race them)
- ice lanterns (fill a balloon with water, partially freeze, pop ballon and dump out remaining water -- should look like a bowl made of ice)
- freezing soap bubbles is awesome
- catch snowflakes and photograph them
- build an igloo and sleep in it
- make maple syrup snow candy (cook maple syrup until it becomes thickened, pour over clean snow, instant candy)
- if it is windy, and you don't mind being a little crazy, grab a tarp, a sled, 2 kids and head to a lake. Have one kid stand (wearing a helmet!!) and one sit. They each hold 2 ends of the tarp, forming a sail. Now you are sailing across a frozen lake, wicked fast. Fast, fun, dangerous.
- ice fishing!
- have the kids design and build their own snowshoes out of plywood or cardboard or bent twigs. Bonus points for making cool footprint designs like monster foot prints.
posted by LittleMy at 6:02 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Liking these, thanks!

Kids are 4 and 6 but are pretty gung-ho! We have a light dusting of snow that has now become a little patchy, but I think I'll find enough for the maple syrup tire d'erable.

We've already fed the birds with fat balls, and have tried to get tea-lights to keep their water from freezing (limited success).

Love the bubbles idea and the slush puppy/slurpy snow ice cream with a flavour. I'll give the ice lanterns a go too.

I do have a power kite and did some kite sledging with them last year- Only problem was not being able to cut across the wind well so you end up at the bottom of the field, and the field's barbed wire fencing!

Keep the ideas coming, please
posted by guy72277 at 6:45 AM on February 6, 2012

Best answer: Make snow candles. Get blocks of paraffin and wicks, and collect old crayons. We would use old coffee cans to melt the paraffin on the stove, and mix in crayons to color it. Then you just go out and pour the liquid wax into the snow and stick a wick in it and cool. You can try swirling two colors, and hollowing out the snow to try to guide the shape, or just pouring into fresh snow. We used to love making these weird lumpy candles as kids.
posted by catatethebird at 6:48 AM on February 6, 2012

Got a magnifying glass? A camera? Emulate Snowflake Bentley:

Test the old "which freezes faster, warm water or cold water"?

Take a walk around the block, stop and listen and see how far the farthest sound you can hear is.

Build a sledding hill. At that age, even a 3 ft rise is interesting. No snow? Maybe refreeze that tarp and frozen sheets and add water 'til they're thick. If you can go 5ft and add a curve and a jump at the end... !!

Make ice scuplture by dripping. Give them each a lawn chair, or tomato cage to decorate.

See how ice expands as if freezes. Got any sealable containers you don't mind ruining? Two liter bottles can be spectacular.

Oh, you mention woods - look for signs of animals. Talk about what the animals do all day in the cold. All night. All week. ( Don't mention all winter, see if they get to that... even a few days later).
posted by at at 12:47 PM on February 7, 2012

« Older Begone Peach Tiles   |   Where can I buy a thing to signal whether I am... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.