We're constantly on the look out for easy, fun ways to coax children outside the classroom doing things. This week we bring you 'Ice Mobiles'. Make them at home over Christmas, at school or nursery, at granny's house, in the park. In fact you can do this anywhere in the winter, provided that it's cold enough. And if it isn't, then do it anyway and pop it in the freezer overnight.
First, put on your thick socks, boots, coats, hats. scarves, gloves. Then, when you're rocking the eskimo look, take a bag and go on a foraging walk. Look for interesting small items that will make striking decorations when suspended in a world of ice. After you've collected something fabulous and have rosy cheeks, go back into the kitchen (or classroom) and ask nicely for a mince pie or cake in a foil container to have with your hot chocolate. Alternatively use shallow plastic tubs.
When you've warmed up, go back outside and spread the empty mince pie cases (or plastic tubs) out in a row and lay a piece of string across the line of cases, making sure it's dipped into the centre of each. (Three cases in a row is ideal.) Place the prettiest of your foraged finds in each case and fill the cases to the brim with water. Leave them outside overnight to freeze. If it's not cold then just pop them in the freezer.
The following morning, carefully take your frozen finds out of their cases and hang your mobile from a nearby tree to admire it. Alternatively you can supsend individual ice creations from branches, or you could use the blocks created by the shallow tubs as blocks and put a few together to create a natural stained glass window effect.
Top tip if you boil the water twice first, and let it cool before filling the containers, you will get clearer ice creations.