Ice decorations are something we make every summer as my son loves the magical effect of a frozen flower sun catcher and they are so simple and easy to make.
It is also a good way to provide water for wildlife on hot days, as your ice decorations melt birds and insects will stop by to drink and you can put a bowl or dish underneath to catch the water for other wildlife like hedgehogs.
All you need to make your own ice decorations some recycled plastic pots or tubs (of any shape or size it just needs to fit in your freezer), water, a piece of string and some natural materials collected from your garden or on a nature walk.
Please don’t pick wildflowers (they are an important source of food for wildlife), only pick flowers you have grown yourselves or ones that have already fallen to the ground.
Once you have collected some natural materials like flowers, petals and leaves simply put them in your recycled plastic container.
Fill the the container with enough water to cover the natural materials. If you put too much in you may find all the materials float to the top of the pot and you and up with a froze block of empty ice at one end.
We then draped a loop of string in some of our containers so the ends were submerged in the water but a loop handle dangled over the edge. When they freeze you can use the string to hang your decorations from.
Now you simply pop all your containers into the freezer and leave them overnight to freeze.
You should be able to remove all your ice decorations from thier containers by leaving them to thaw for 2 minutes and then turning over the containers and gently tapping them out.
It’s fun to look at all the flowers and leaves trapped in ice, they look quite magical and ethereal.
Now you can either hang your decorations up as sun catchers and watch insects stop to take a drink from the melting ice.
Or use the ice to play, explore and explore with. You can let them experiment by melting ice with salt and warm water. Sometimes if you get it just right you can hear and see the large blocks of ice cracking and popping.
Or they can try using them to build with, or have fun cracking of breaking them open to get to the natural materials inside.