fun with ice - momgineer

fun with ice

Icicle Bird Feeders!
What you need:
  • empty container (we used large yogurt containers)
  • water
  • bird seed
  • string
  • straw and tape
  • skewer or small dowel
  • food coloring (optional)
1. Fill your container about 1/6 of the way with water. You can add food coloring if you want it to be colorful. Freeze it (try to keep it level in the freezer or outside, if you live someplace cold enough).

2. Remove from freezer and add a layer of bird seed. Cut the straw so it is as long as the diameter of your container, then cover the open ends with tape. This part only worked for me on one side, so next time I think I will stuff some cotton balls in the ends too. It should look like this:

Cover it with some more water and freeze again.

3.It is up to you how many more layers of ice and bird seed you want to add, but for one of the top  layers of ice you will want to add string so you can hang your bird feeder. I doubled the string over, and then covered it with some bird seed and then taped the string to the sides of the container 180° apart. Freeze again.

4. When you remove the feeder after the final step, run it under hot tap water to remove it from the container, and then poke a hole through the taped end of the straw. Slide your dowel/skewer through and add glue if you'd like, to keep it in place. This is supposed to be a perch, but it's probably not necessary.

5. Hang your bird feeder! We don't have any good branches to hang a bird feeder from so I put it on our swing set. I'm hoping as the ice melts it will also provide a nice drink for the birds.

Hidden Treasures!
What you need:
  • empty container (yogurt/sour cream/cottage cheese/milk)
  • water
  • treasures (rocks, coins, pine cones, marbles)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • small pitchers or cups
  • tray or plastic container to melt the blocks in
This activity is similar to the bird feeder but instead of seeds in layers you can add treasures that you'd like to uncover later.

1. Freeze 1/2 cup or so in your container (food coloring optional).

2. Add a layer of "treasure" and cover with more water:

Freeze again.

3. Repeat step 2 as many times as you'd like until your container is filled.

4. Run the container under hot tap water to loosen it.

5. You can display them outside in colder climates if you'd like.  They also make for a fun and freezing game of hockey if you have a long stretch of counter available in your kitchen. They glide and spin really fast! If you'd like to get the treasures out, put them in a container so you don't make a giant puddle, and pour warm water over them. The kids had a lot of fun with this part and have requested to do it again.

You can easily make this into an instructional lesson on the three phases of water by adding boiling water to the ice to melt it and talking about steam.

    momgineer Meredith Anderson

    STEM education is my passion!

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