Winter has been in full swing up here in the Northeast US for a month or two now. Buuuuuut we still have another good three months or so to go. Finding different ways to keep these hooligans occupied in the cold can get tough at times!
I try to have different crafts and activities going on, but sometimes easier is better. And our winter craft for today couldn’t be any easier!
The kiddos and I made some beautiful ice ornaments to hang in the trees outside. Of course, this is best done when the temperature stays below freezing for a while. But we have no problem with that here haha. And I must say, the results are quite beautiful!
- Wintry natural elements (pine cones, pine needles, cranberries, orange slices)
- Food coloring
- Sprinkles (if your kids are “extra” like mine haha)
- Twine for hanging
- Something to freeze the ornaments in- we used small cake pans
Making the Ornaments:
1. First we went out for a little walk in the yard to gather some materials. This time of year there isn’t a ton to choose from, but we had plenty of pine needles and cones.
2. Back in the house, we found a few more items that wouldn’t be terrible to have melt into the yard haha. I had leftover cranberries that were forgotten about in the fridge (whoops), so we used those along with orange slices. To make some of the ornaments more colorful we also put food coloring and sprinkles in a few!
3. Next we filled our chosen ornament containers up with water and put the decorations in. Put the string in at this point too and lay excess over the edge so it freezes in with everything else. That way you can just pull it out and tie a knot!
4. For the food coloring ones, I let the water freeze a bit before adding color. If you add them right away, then everything will just blend together and turn gray haha. But if it freezes some then the colors won’t spread as quickly!
5. Also an extra step for the ones that you’re putting “stuff” in, like the pinecones and cranberries. Since all of the items float, I found it easiest to put only a little water in at first and let them freeze in that. Then fill it up some more to your liking. That way they’ll stay put!
6. Now just put them in the freezer or outside, and wait! Ours took about 3-4 hours for me to notice they froze entirely lol. Some we left overnight.
7. To get the ornaments out of the containers, pour lukewarm water over the top quickly and then run it over the bottom of the container. Cover the ornament with your hand so it doesn’t fall, and it should pop right out as the water warms it slightly.
Now you can hang them from a tree or your front porch, and enjoy your winter craft!
These little beauties are so simple, and yet have been super enjoyable for us! The kiddos and I love walking out to the backyard and seeing them hanging there. Another nice thing is if there’s a warmer day and they start to melt, you can always temporarily bring them in and put them in the freezer. Or just make new ones- they’re easy enough! This is definitely a winter craft we’ll be doing over and over again.
Have you read about our 30 day challenge to spend more quality time with your kids yet? Go check out the post and join in, or if you’re already doing it add this to your activity list! This would be a great way to get some tech-free bonding in.
If you and your little ones make these ice ornaments, I would love to see! If you share pictures of them on social media, be sure to tag me. I will periodically reshare them on my pages (if given permission), so your creations can inspire others as well!