Do you need extra motivation to get outside when the temperature drops below freezing? Perhaps this craft will be just the thing to get you and your kids outside. These frozen sun catchers can be made with a variety of items, are interesting to look at, and sparkle beautifully in the sun. Plus, they are super easy to make; winter did most of the work for us!
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How to Make Nature-Filled Ice Ornaments
You’ll find instructional photos and a video below. This craft is very simple and straight forward.
- Fill a container with natural treasures
- Add water
- Pop out of the container and hang outside
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Container to freeze the water in (aluminum pie plate, cake pans, plastic food storage containers, or margarine, ice cream, or yogurt tubs)
- Natural elements (twigs, leaves, berries, pine cones)
- Something to Hang them with (standard kitchen twine, yarn, ribbon)
- Drill (optional – I like my cordless Makita, the one in the video)
- Freezer space or freezing temperatures
Directions – how to make the frozen sun catchers:
Have your little ones hunt out some interesting nature treasures. Maybe you’ve already collected some treasure on another walk that you could use today. You may suggest leaves, berries, grasses, pine needles, twigs, seeds, and such.
These treasures all get put into the bottom of your freezing vessel. Pour water over everything and leave this outside overnight or pop it into the freezer if it’s not cold enough.
Once the disk is frozen, pry your ice ornament out of the container. Use your drill to make a hanging hole (not too close to the edge) and hang your ice sun catcher in a spot where you can enjoy it sparkling in the sun.
A few notes:
The first time I made these I tried to freeze the hanging string into the disks. It did work, but I found the string melted out quickly. I have also seen others wrap a ribbon around the outside of the disk, but I haven’t tried this myself.
If you actually hang them in the shade they’ll last longer, but then they won’t actually be sun catchers!
You can make ice ornaments that the birds can enjoy too. By adding fruit, berries, and nuts, birds will have treats to snack on as the ornaments melt in the sun.
I tend to only put natural items in the ornaments because when they melt, everything will fall to the ground and I don’t want small pieces of plastic littering the ground. Although, that being said, I had a hard time not wanting to add some glitter!
Here’s a photo from Twig and Toadstool who did a variation of this frozen sun catcher craft. I really like how they are each a different color. Check out their page to learn how their ice sun catchers were made.
What should you do now?
- Go gather up your supplies to make a frozen sun catcher. Or, if it’s not cold enough outside, Pin this idea so you’ll be reminded later.
- Get yourself and your family connecting more with nature by joining the Take Them Outside Newsletter. The tips and inspiration you’ll receive in your inbox will help get you and your family appreciating and enjoying nature a little more!
Other wintertime posts to check out:
- Keeping your kids warm when out in the snow
- Outdoor toddler activities for the winter and snow
- How to attract birds to the backyard in the winter
Can you help your family connect more with nature? Take the Challenge!
Getting out as a family, finding time, and encouraging enthusiasm and curiosity about the natural world… Sometimes this is hard! I get it! Yet, these natural and family connections are so important for you and for nature itself. Join the 5 day nature challenge to learn how just a few minutes a day can bring you and your family closer to nature!