Nature Ice Art Ornaments

These beautiful Ice Ornaments have become an annual favourite here when the winter temperature drops. They're so much fun to create & a wonderful way to explore a little science too, & with freezing temperatures forecast again for the end of this week we're looking forward to hopefully creating some more.

Having seen the recent snowy weather around the world & the plummeting temperatures we've been eagerly scanning the local forecast for any hint of the magical white stuff reaching us, but alas I think it's unlikely to happen. We have been fortunate enough though to experience some cool winter weather which has brought with it frosty mornings & freezing overnight temperatures which has meant we have been able to explore any ice that has formed outdoors.

Discovering any new patch of ice around the garden is exciting, but finding natural objects encased within is an added bonus. We have several containers outside which we use for collecting rainwater & recently as temperatures have fallen we've discovered some beautiful leaves & petals sealed in the frozen water. 

Inspired by our finds we decided to create slightly smaller versions of these natural works of art. We collected a few small plastic bowls & half filled with water before placing them on a flat surface outdoors away from the house, so they wouldn't be too sheltered. Then we had a quick hunt around the garden for items we could freeze in the water. The beautiful yellow Forsythia was an obvious choice & Minnie carefully added a few flower heads to one of the containers making sure the flowers we submerged beneath the water. For the next container we mixed it up a little adding Rosemary leaves & Rowan berries (carefully washing our hands afterwards), & for the last decoration we added flower sprigs of a nearby plant which was looking a little sad in our flower border.

Once happy with her chosen greenery Minnie added a length of string to each bowl making sure it was well under the water so that when the water froze the string would hold the ornament. We left these outdoors overnight & as the temperature dropped sure enough our ice ornaments formed.

Discovering the ice art the next day is always the magical part for me as you have no idea if the experiment has completely worked, or what the ice art will turn out like. 

Minnie was so pleased with her creations & hung them up on a nearby tree. She had frozen nature in time. Captured & encased its beauty for a few hours in the glass-like ice.

As we stood admiring her winter outdoor art we noticed the colourful reflections of the petals frozen in the water, the patterns & bubbles in the ice itself, & the way the rising sun not only illuminated each ornament, but started to cause them to melt.

We left these hanging on the tree & wondered how long they would last for. As the temperature slowly rose throughout the morning the ice started to melt & the size of the ornament gradually decreased. We watched the water drip slowly from each decoration & an hour later the first one fell to the ground. The second fell half an hour later but the final one lasted 3 hours before sliding off the string & hitting the ground. 

We're looking forward to repeating our experiment in the freezing temperatures again & seeing how long our creations will last for this time. These are so easy to make & offer children so many learning opportunities, & the great thing is they don't cost a penny!