15 Ice Projects to make with kids

25 February 2019


Do you want 12  — kid tested, kid approved — ideas to get your kids outside this winter and to have fun?

We live in Sweden where, at the darkest time of the year, we have (almost) 5 dusky hours of sunlight.  It’s cold. It’s dark. Getting creative, as a parent, made me want to find ways have fun in the winter; but, friends, here’s a secret: all of these ideas made going outside fun for me, too.  I want share this with you.

These are not only fun ways to play outside in the winter, these projects can be used in hot weather, too. These are fun ways to cool down in the summer; experiment with STEM concepts and to just have fun!

I first used the icy treasure hunt idea as a way to extend a treasure hunt that I had created for a hot, summer, July, day. Follow me below and you can choose for yourself.

Winter Outdoor Projects

  • Swedish Snowball Lanterns These are Swedish living 101. Adults and kids make and enjoy these beautiful, magical, snowball towers.

  • Ice Lanterns  These came into our house as an experiment made by our oldest son and remain a favorite — with readers around the world, too. These are amazingly simple to make except that small hands will need some assistance filling.

    TIP: Make these yourself, letting your littles in on the process. Once frozen, the kids can help with the final unveiling but, you can invite them to take these one step further with paint. SEE Painted Ice Lanterns below. 

  • Sand Bucket Ice Lanterns. Magical + easy. These were a perfect project for my youngest to make while my oldest worked on the more complex Ice Lanterns.

    In addition to being simple to make, these are also perfect for embellishing with flowers, twigs and such. These also create a thicker shell of ice which means that they last longer, too. (Parents, perfect for parties!)

  • Ice Cube Garland – I’m forever looking for ways to make the world magical around us. Making forts for me, as a kid, was such a highlight and I love to see the forts my kids come up with, too. Once they make these, you can hang them from a branch or embellish a snow fort.  One year, we decorated a tree on our front lawn for the winter holidays with these ice cube garlands and winter outdoor lights. (It made me feel like a kid seeing these every day.)

  • Curate Your Own Ice Gallery:  (I get so excited about these) Seriously, you’re kids can create an art ICE gallery. I worked with different mixes to find the best “clean slate” to create an ice canvas for your kids to paint on.

    These were a wonderful project to have frozen and ready in the freezer. I’d often whip up an “ice pallet” at night and then, pull these out the next day for the kids to paint.

    Adults: you’re going to want to make one, too. They’re party perfect and a wonderful holiday addition.

  • Painted Ice Lanterns (Painted variaion of the Ice Lantern)

  • Valentine Ice Hanging- Simple can be fun and sublimely beautiful. We used a heart-shaped baking pan but, use any shape that you have. In fact, I encourage adults to set out many shapes as a great invitation to play for kids.

  • Valentine Day Ice Art. This was such a fun gather, walk, talk and make project which we would repeat over and over through the winter. When we moved to our house, I decided that I would make it my mission to have a piece like this hanging at our front door through out the winter. In fact, these look great when you hang several, too.

  • Ice Skating Pompoms . These aren’t made “of” ice but, are for sailing over the ice — with bells. I first made these for my daugher’s Ice Skating Party when I got nostalgic for pompoms I had as a little girl with bells. I couldn’t find them so decided to make my own.  We still use them and, for me personally: they’re one of my all time favorite projects to make with or for kids.  (You can find how to make heart-shaped pompoms in that post, too)

Winter Outdoor Projectsb


Parents ask me often, “how do you survive Swedish Winter?”  The first answer is great clothes.  Winter gear for kids is serious and made for artic temperatures because kids so outside. We dress kids in snowsuits and line our buggies warm sleeping bags. The second answer is to go outside.  The idea that kids should and can be outside and that, infact, it’s good for them is a fact that taken so seriously that you can find pre-schools that garentee that your kids will be outside 365 days of the year — yes, parents, for naps, too! 

Our kid didn’t attend this complete nature immersion pre-school but, we did go outdoors every day. I loved packing hot cocoa and steamy panini for winter picnics and, in addition to classic winter play, which included sleds, skates, skis and snowmen,  I got creative.

I hope that you find fun and creativity in these projects that are a part of our everyday world. Often these ideas were bases and the kids could come up with endless variations that would lead them off in creative play.

These projects not only helped me enjoy parenting creative, active, engaged, kids who learned through play and healthy interaction; they made me one happy mom. I send you willowday wishes for the same in the world around you.

ABC Flower Safari

I find nature to be so truly captivating and mark that spot as a place I’ve returned to time and time again with my own children and as I’ve taught other kids, too.  When Spring flowers arrive,  they truly animated our surroundings.

Before I knew it, we’d return home from a Spring walk with pockets full of forest treasures and would be