The other day I was trying to come up with outdoor activities for Wild One and I when I came across the Tinkergarten website. I've heard of their program before and am even on the waitlist in case they start a branch here in Douglas, Wyoming, but I've never really explored their website before. They have a whole section of DIY activities which you can narrow down by child's age and time of year!
Scrolling through the 4 year old-appropriate winter activities I found these fun ice crystals. Considering it has been well below freezing all week I thought I'd give it a try. Finding water balloons in our small town in winter was a bit of a challenge, but Jake did eventually find some. After a bit of trial and error I found a quick and easy method for making these fun "crystals"!
Here are some of my tips:
• Wear an apron and gloves, otherwise your hands (and/or clothes) will still be covered in food coloring like mine. 😉
• Hold the balloon by the opening and pinch it only slightly to add the dye. I found the best way for me was to let gravity do the work, let the balloon hang gently in your fingers and once you've added the dye let it slide down before adding water. It makes for a little less mess!
• One drop of food coloring is plenty to get a beautiful colored crystal. With a few I added 2 drops and they just got dye all over everything when I cut the balloon off the frozen crystal.
We left the balloons out overnight and in the morning Ruby got outside first and hid a bunch of them in the snow so I haven't actually found many to cut the balloon off of, but I did find a few and she had a blast hiding the balloons. That's a win in my book. Haha!
Let me know if you try this activity too. I want to hear how your crystals turned out! Enjoy!