How to make an ice bauble

We don’t get it frozen solid very often, but when it’s really cold, this would be a super cool idea to prepare one evening, then hang it out to freeze overnight. We found this on the My Little Norway website – they’re pretty experienced in activities and things to do in the cold!    

All you need is balloons, a squeeze bottle with no cap, string, twigs, water and whatever else you can think of to decorate.  We think it’s best to use natural items found in nature like rowan berries, pine leaves and twigs  - so that’s another good excuse to get out in the fresh air, get some exercise and collect for indoor activities too. If you can’t get out and about – you could also use coloured paper, flowers, petals or jelly sweets The items need to be small enough to fit down the bottleneck and balloon tube.

Feed the birds! If you want to think about the birds in your garden – this is also a fun way to feed them - by freezing bird seed in the bauble.  

How to make a frozen bauble 

 Cut the squeeze bottle in half, the neck end will be used for a funnel.  The reason why this works best is because the mouth doesn’t get smaller as a regular funnel does.  Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the bottle’s mouth. 

Tie the end of about 30cm of string to a small, short, twig – this will be used to hang the bauble.  Push the twig with string into the balloon through the funnel.  Make sure the rest of the string is left hanging outside the balloon. 

Push the other items down the funnel into the balloon.  It might help to use a chop stick to push the items through the neck of the balloon but be careful with berries, and such, as these can easily be squished. 

When all your items are inside the balloon, gently pour water into the funnel to fill the balloon.  Stop before the balloon stretches too thin.  Tie the balloon with its end. 

If you want very clear ice effect, no bubbles, then boil the water first and let it cool (it gets rid of the CO2 in the water – for the science geeks). 

If you were in the Arctic, pop the balloon outside to freeze (hint: the temps need to be below zero) - here in the UK that may be the case, or you could pop it in the freezer!

To keep its shape you should hang it but it is good enough to lay it on its side without any pressure from other objects. When the balloon is frozen solid, take the rubber off and you are left with an ice bauble!  Hang on the veranda or on a tree.   

For the summer If we get really hot weather – it could be a good way to water plants. You’ll need to use your freezer so you could make all sorts of shapes – just hand a line over the plants and it can slowly drip water them for you.

Credit to My Little Norway for idea and bauble picture.
Ice bauble
Warm Wellies loved by kids in the snow