OK, it's extremely cold in the Hudson Valley! Perfect time to experiment with ice art (and find something good about single digit temps). You can use nature objects (berries, pine boughs, acorns, pine cones, etc.), food coloring, cranberries or other colorful biodegradable items inside the ice.
Pro tips: I did get lots of food coloring on my hands making these. It comes off with extra handwashing or a soak. Also, after they are frozen some of the dye does rub off. Use warm water to release the ice from the mold (or release the mold off the snowy ground).
We filled a bundt pan with food coloring and water and placed pine boughs and strong twine or rope in the water. It froze overnight, easily coming out the pan.
These look so pretty hanging in the sunlight. The green ice has an iridescent look, which is super cool. I think next time I would also try more pine boughs plus some berries and leave out the food coloring. Little air bubbles freeze into the ice which looks glittery and cool.
Ice Heart Banner
The ice hearts are so pretty when there isn't any color outside. They are a great activity for little ones to do independently, especially if you set them up outside where spills don't matter. We hung ours on trees and also the tree fort.
Heart cakelette pan (a cupcake tin would also work well)
Line the pan with a layer of cranberries and fill with water. Cranberries float!
Place the twine in each heart and place outside overnight.
Once frozen, pop the hearts out of the pan and tie to a piece of yarn or twine. Hang them outside!
Ice Orb Mandala
Cake tins, cakelette pans (or any shape or size container)
For the ice orbs, place a few drops of food coloring into each balloon and fill with water and tie a secure knot. We used the kitchen faucet to fill them -- not too full to avoid any food coloring explosions before you get these outside! We brought the filled balloons outside and placed them in the snow overnight.
For the mandala, we made lots of colored shapes with different containers. I brought the food coloring, pitchers of water and containers outside to do this! We left these out overnight, as well.
The next day, we cut the balloons off the frozen orbs to reveal their awesomeness! These really are very cool. One of our IG friends said her kids call these dragon eggs, and that is exactly what they are!
Some of the containers needed a little help releasing the ice, so we poured warm water on the back of the container and on top of the ice (getting the water around the edges). If it were a bit warmer, we would have made lots of different shapes and used the colored ice like building blocks. We couldn't stay out long with the wind, so we did a quick mandala after we admired our awesome ice creations.