Kids' Activity: Icicle Sun-Catcher!

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder

Freezing and melting is a mystery to young children. Have your child watch the butter melting on warm toast. Draw attention to ice cubes disappearing in a glass of water. Watch ice cream turn into a liquid mess. Discuss the concept of some solid things melting in warmer temperatures.

Now reverse that idea. Some liquid things get hard in colder temperatures. Fill a paper cup half full of water and put it in the freezer. In a few hours, let your child discover the solid water. Something that was soft and squishy just hours ago is as hard as a rock now. Notice when water freezes in the dog's dish or a mud puddle. What happens to items that were in the water?

bird pecking at frozen foodThis activity uses both freezing and melting. It looks very pretty in the sun and can help feed winter birds and animals, depending on the contents your child chooses to add to his sun-catcher.


• Pie pan
• Container of water
• Birdseed, nuts, acorns
• leaves, twigs, small cones or other natural materials
• 16" twine for hanging


1) Place a towel on your table.
2) Set out the pie pan, container of water and decorative items on the towel.
3) Have your child dump water into the pie pan until it is nearly full. Then she can add some birdseed, leaves, pine cones, nuts or other nature items until she's satisfied with the appearance.
4) Double the twine to form a loop. Tie ends together and place the knot under water in the center of the pie pan; some twine will be underwater, but the hanging loop will rest outside the pie pan.
5) Put carefully in the freezer for several hours. Take it out of the mold by placing in warm water for several seconds.

Hang in a tree and watch it twirl and sparkle. When the sun-catcher melts, suggest making another.

Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!

Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to, LLC.