Exploring the different states of water and observing the transformation from one to another makes for a fantastic sensory experience. At Tinkergarten, frozen treasures are one of our favorite ways to harness the beauty of frozen water. What are they? To us adults, frozen treasures are objects from nature frozen in pieces of ice. To kids, they are pure magic. And once made, the possibilities for play are endless!
This activity is featured in our Winter Persistence Animal Superheroes series. Hop into your Tinkergarten dashboard to watch and get inspired by the "Frozen Friends" video lesson. Not yet signed up? Click here to sign up or to try a free Tinkergarten Home lesson.
Step 1: Make frozen treasures.
- Place the natural objects you collected and water in freezable containers (e.g. ice cube trays, muffin tins, recycled containers).
- (Optional) To inspire even more imaginative play, use a permanent marker to draw an animal on a rock and invite kids to free their pretend creatures from the freeze. Or, freeze a piece of yarn inside ice and invite kids to free their Ice Worm friend (one of our featured creatures in our Winter Animal Superheroes series).
- Place in the freezer (or outside if temperatures are below freezing) for at least 24 hours.
- Take them out of the freezer and give them a minute to warm up, then pop them out into a bowl.
Step 2: Introduce the frozen treasures and invite play.
Step 3: Free from the freeze!
- Warm water (turkey basters can be great for this, or paint brushes could be fun, too)
- Warm hands
- A sunny spot
- Sticks or rocks
- Mallets or other utensils
Extend the play!
- Freeze treasures in a cookie sheet or larger container for a super-sized frozen treasure.
- Make ice soup in a bucket or container.
- Take turns hiding your frozen treasures on the ground somewhere, then challenge each other to find them! (What are the best places to hide it?)
- Watch the video read aloud of Glacier on the Move by Elizabeth Rusch to learn more about Ice Worms and inspire even more ice play!