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How to make an ice orb – A forest school and STEM activity

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We are sharing with you a fabulous activity on the site today – from a collection of Forest School Activities from a set of Forest School Activity cards publish by Watkins Publishing. This is a lovely little activities for the kids, explaining how to make an ice orb. It is almost magical for them to do…

How to make an ice orb

Have you ever marvelled at the wonder of water? It’s a liquid at room temperature, a gas when boiled and solid ice when frozen. Water is a home for many creatures, and it sustains life on earth – including ours. We drink it, cook with it and cannot survive without it. What’s more, water also offers wonderful opportunities for fun, from splashing and swimming to making frozen art.

When water becomes ice it opens up a world of sparkling creativity. Trinkets from a woodland walk or a trip to the park can be suspended within coloured and frozen blocks of water to make an ice orb, as well as ice mobiles to hang from branches or twigs.

This is an activity to spark interest both in art and in science. Budding ice artists are challenged to think about shape, size, form and even density – some things will float when placed in water and others will sink. Talking about the various containers for ice art and encouraging the sensory experience helps to deepen memory and expand vocabulary (deep/shallow; round/ cube; hard/freezing; fluid/warm and so on).

The ideal time for this activity is during winter – when the weather outside mirrors the theme – making it an opportunity to learn about the seasons and to enjoy and connect with this time of the year.

However, as long as you have access to a freezer, you can have a go in warmer weather, too, and talk about how melting happens more quickly in the sunshine. The end result – glistening and sparkly ice art – is a source of awe. And the transformation of liquid water to solid ice and back again is natural magic, in which themes of change can be explored. This alchemy is a joy to see

Open up a world of sparkling creativity and learn about the natural process of freezing in this mesmerizing activity – perfect for the winter months


  • Natural food dyes, and
  • Balloons – a biodegradable eco variety is preferable to plastic/latex

Once you have assembled all you need to do this activity, you are ready to go:

  1. Put some drops of food dye into the uninflated balloons (more will give a stronger colour; fewer, a lighter colour).
  2. Pour water into the balloons and tie a knot in the end of each, making sure to allow room for the water to expand as it freezes.
  3. Put the balloons in a tray and leave them to freeze overnight – outside if it’s cold enough (0°C/32°F); if not, in a freezer.
  4. The following day, cut the tied ends of the balloons and peel away the rubber.
  5. Put the sparkling orbs outside on the ground and watch as the ice begins to melt. Always make sure you dispose of the balloons appropriately.

We hope you have a lot of fun with this activity and make an ice orb of your own! To download the activity, just click on the square image below.

Here are some more fun activities you will like –

How to make an ice orb

Fun STEM Activities

If you're looking to create something fun with your kids then these STEM activities are for you! We hope you enjoy them.

If you need even more ideas here are some great ones from the web –

More STEM ideas from the web

Combine learning and fun with these STEM ideas from around the web.

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