Nature Craft: Giant Ice Marbles!

Winter is a beautiful time of year here in the northeast. Everywhere you look there is snow sparkling in the sun, icicles in the windows, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and this week, breathtakingly cold weather!  In an effort to embrace the temperatures, we at Vermont State Parks decided to embark on a project that combines ice, art, balloons, and some freezing temperatures. What could it be? GIANT ICE MARBLES!

What you will need:
-Food coloring
-Freezing air or a freezer

How to make them:

1. First, open the mouth of the balloon and place several drops of food coloring inside. You can use the standard colors or mix your own by combining two
different colors.

2. Stretch the mouth of the balloon around the head of a faucet. Slowly fill it up with water until the balloon is slightly smaller than a bowling ball.
NoteIf the balloon loses grip with the faucet, things can get messy. Keep a firm hold on the top of the balloon and hold the bottom to keep it steady. 

3. Tightly tie off the top of the balloon and try to avoid leaving any air pockets.

Bring your water-filled balloons outside. Either set them in the snow or place
 them in a bowl to freeze. Alternately (and depending on size), place your balloons in the freezer. Set them in a bowl or container to avoid any mess. 

5. Bundle up and head outside to place your balloon outdoors. Leave out for 24-48 hours. Ours were almost completely frozen after about 24 hours.

6. When they are totally frozen, peel the balloon off and voilĂ you’ve got giant ice marbles and some truly one-of-a-kind lawn ornaments!

7. Arrange your ice marbles in a cool formation or place them outside a window so you can enjoy your handiwork!

This nature craft is a great way to channel your inner artist, get outside, and help make these chilly temperatures a little more bearable. 
 You can’t beat the cold but you sure can have fun with it! 


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