We are having so much fun with ice this winter! We have made ice blocks for building and luminaries for lighting!
Ice blocks are super easy and quick! You can basically use whatever you have on hand that has wells in it. We have used ice cube trays, muffin tins, yogurt containers, plastic freezer jam jars, and even plastic egg cartons to make a variety of shapes!
I placed all of the filled containers on the back deck and let them freeze. Then popped all the blocks out and divided them among the kids.
The kids had such a fun time playing with them (while it was cold enough to keep them frozen). I gave them each a sprayer of water to help them with their building. Simply build, then spritz with water. When it’s cold enough (close to 0°F), the spritzed water will instantly freeze the blocks together!
We’ll definitely be doing this if it gets super cold again this winter!
Ice luminaries are just as fun, they just can’t be played with!
We have saved all of our Costco size yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and dishwasher tablet containers to use for these creations.
These are also very simple to make. In temperatures between 20° and 30°F these size containers will need to freeze for around 10-12 hours outdoors. Sit containers on a flat surface (we use our back deck), fill with water to just below rim, and allow to freeze. I typically do these before going to bed if the temperature won’t drop too low during the night. They’re ready about 8am when I do it this way.
Bring them in, invert the container in the sink, and run water over it to loosen the ice block so it slips out of the container. Once it has fallen out, the bottom (the part that’s actually facing you now) should be still slightly unfrozen and there should be water sloshing inside. Chip through that thin layer of ice, then pour all the water out.
That’s it! Your luminary should be hollow now.
Place the luminary outside and put a candle in it**! Now it’s ready for lighting once it’s dark outside!
If it isn’t super cold, the heat from the candles will eventually melt down the walls of the luminaries meaning you’ll need to stop using it so it doesn’t cause a fire, but the great thing is, it’s very easy to make more!
**Be sure your luminary is in a place where it won’t be knocked over or children won’t bother it. We like to put ours on the front porch and steps!