– I don’t know about anyone else, but hot summer nights can get a little chaotic as my kids get more and more stir crazy. I have been looking for ideas to tame the “I’m Bored” monster. Usually I just tell them to go clean something up if they are bored; yes I do that, and no it never really works. I need projects that are inexpensive, educational, and that are exciting enough to engage both a four and nine-year old. All with the hopes of keeping mom sane as the summer winds down.
– My kids are obsessed with our ice maker, and my four-year-old is obsessed with Frozen, so I decided to make a huge ice block. I took out a map and showed the kids the North Pole and we all spelled Antarctica. B of course wanted to discuss Santa, who she is absolutely obsessed with right now. We also discussed how temperature changes water, and worked on vocabulary such as melt and melting. I decided for our first bin, to use our ocean figures and some colorful rice from our last sensory bins. I did get a request from my nine-year-old for a dinosaur excavation next time.
To make your own Ice Excavation you will need:
1 Plastic Container to freeze the water
1 Larger container for the excavation
Water and a Freezer
Themed Plastic Figures
A dropper or two
Bowl of warm but not too hot water
– I just grabbed one of our smaller storage bins and filled it up 3/4 of the way with water. In our first bin I added, our plastic ocean figures, colored rice, and shells. The picture to the right is our second bin before freezing. We focused on circles and working fine motor skills with the kids tweezers. Really you can theme this any way you want. I put our bin in the freezer overnight.
Tip: One way you can tell if your water has froze is to look for moving ice bubbles. If you find them, you have more freezing to do.
– When you are ready to excavate, I recommend putting a towel underneath your larger bin or dish to catch spill overs. We used droppers, mini buckets, and tweezers to excavate. You just need to little by little squeeze or pour hot water (not too hot that it burns you little one) on your ice and then let your little archaeologist emerge.