There is something quite magical about FamilyFun's Winter Sun Catchers. They provide a colorful glistening contrast to the bland and dreary colors of a cold winter day. They are super simple to make. All you need is:
- ice cube tray
- round cake pan
- food coloring
- a plastic cup
- (and a freezer, unless it's cold enough to freeze water outside).
First you make colored ice cubes by putting a few drops of food coloring with water in each part of the tray. It is important to use a few coordinating colors, so that when the ice later blends together you don't end up with something black and murky. Keep it simple! Freeze the cubes completely before moving on to the next step.
Once your ice cubes are solid, place your water filled plastic up in a round cake pan right where you would like the hole for the ribbon to be. Fill the cake pan 2/3 full of water. Freeze for about an hour. Then put all of the colored ice cubes in the cake pan and freeze until the whole thing is completely solid.
You may need to use a little cold water to help you remove the plastic cup and loosen the sun catcher so that you can remove it from the pan. Attach you ribbon and hang outside. Voila!
As I've mentioned before, we live in the desert. Even though it gets cold enough here to make all the trees hibernate, we don't get very much snow, and my kids have only seen photographs of icicles. This was a fun way to bring some ice to winter in our part of the world. It was cold enough for our Winter Sun Catchers to last for several days. I am thinking that we might revisit Winter Sun Catchers again in the summer, and make scientific observations about how fast they melt when the temperature is 106 degrees F.
Rating: Robo Dude gave this project zero fingers. He says that the Winter Sun Catchers were "too greasy". I think that is his way of expressing his dislike for the colors that got all over his hands when we removed his sun catcher from the pan. It probably didn't help that he used so many colors that his Winter Sun Catcher turned out murky and black either:) Cyber Princess gave the project 5 fingers. Of course she had more of mom's assistance, so her Winter Sun Catcher turned out quite colorfully. I give the project a solid 4 fingers. It was simple, messy, and fun. The hardest part was waiting for everything to freeze so that we could see how things turned out. Considering how full of instant-gratification our world has come, I think that this project is a fun way of teaching kids patience.