DIY Fun: Ice Balloons

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Summer has officially hit St. Louis. The cicadas are humming (?), sunshine is shining, and the heat and humidity have crept up to the crazy level. As we look forward to July and August, our thoughts are on ice. Round ice!

I thought it would be fun to somehow make large round ice cubes for the kids to play with, try to hold onto, and slide around the back deck. And so, though I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, we froze water balloons overnight and voila! Ice balloons!

Here’s how:DSC_0002

Gather up a handful of balloons (any color will do, as you will be discarding the “skin” of the balloon once the water inside has frozen).

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Make sure yours will fit over your sink faucet, or you could get one of those special water-balloon-filler-uppers.

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Fill up balloons to desired size (we made different sizes to see how well they froze, but next time I will make some REALLY big ones and see how long it takes to freeze through!) and tie shut, being careful to let all the air bubbles out before you seal the deal.

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Arrange in a small tub so that they aren’t too squished (they will expand as they freeze, if you forgot your physics). The less squished in they are, the more round they tend to turn out.

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Stick in the freezer overnight.

The next day: DSC_0024DSC_0027

Remove from freezer and cut the balloon skin off the ice balloons, being careful not to cut little fingers! Also, if you have a baby around, be extra vigilant about throwing away all the pieces of balloon immediately. Holy choking hazard.

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And there you have it! Your own collection of ice eggs or whatever you want them to be! We decided to play with ours outside in the water…

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The boys practiced trying to grab the slippery things out of the pool, and once they captured one, they slid them around the deck, felt them with their hands, hit them around with sticks, and finally smashed them on the ground before declaring the experiment a success. And as easy and cheap as it was, I couldn’t agree more!

Update: We made HUGE shapes yesterday and they turned out great! We tried some long balloons and they looked like submarines. The boys had a great time will all the shapes and sizes!

 

9 thoughts on “DIY Fun: Ice Balloons

  1. It’s crazy hot here in Boston also so this looks like a perfect activity. I love the expressions if their faces watching you fill them up- cutest kids!

    Ice is really amazing stuff- a couple of our friends taught this workshop at MIT on making ‘ice structures’. Basically they took giant pieces of fabric and draped them over weather balloons then soaked them with water and left them out in the cold winter night. Once the balloons were removed it left these giant structures… So simple but somehow space-age cool!

  2. I vote for that headband to be in the summer couture postings! : )

    Love the pic of Oliver in background watching Milo fill the balloons!
    I think this gives way to summer backyard ice hockey– could get dangerous!

  3. Haha! Yes, Angie, it was only a matter of time before the words “NO throwing ice at your brother!” left my mouth.

    Oh, and the headband is from this season, JCrew!

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