Frozen fun

Take advantage of freezing temperatures and head outside for some activities that can only be done when temps are cold.

February does not mean the end of winter in Michigan. I usually prefer to snuggle up inside on a cold winter day. However, I have found that there are a few activities that can only be enjoyed when it’s cold. This winter, I’m going to take advantage of low temperatures and get outside with my kids to have some fun. Here are some great ideas to get you and your kids outside this winter.

Frozen bubbles

Bubbles are not just for summer. In freezing temperatures, bubbles will freeze. Enjoy the bubbles longer by blowing them right onto the snow. For more durable bubbles Home Science Tools has a recipe to make your own. Other ideas to try:

  • Liquid dish soap (Joy or Dawn brands work best. Try to find one that doesn't say “Ultra”)
  • Distilled water (tap water is okay, but distilled water makes the best bubbles)
  • Clean container with lid
  • Glycerin or light corn syrup

Turn boiling water into a cloud

During the December 2013 polar vortex, I tried this with my kids. The air must be extremely cold, around 22 degrees Fahrenheit, according to IFLScience! I boiled water on the stove in a small pan because the handle made it easier to throw the water. Be prepared to repeat the experiment at least one time.


Draw a grid in the snow and gather some markers, like pine cones or sticks, for a game of tic-tac-toe.

Snow paint

Purchase inexpensive spray bottles or find some around the house. Fill with water and some food coloring. You can create art in the snow by drawing pictures or adding a shade of color to your snowmen.

Colored frozen water balloon globes

Take advantage of freezing temperatures with a project that gets easier each time you make them. These colored globes are a wonderful way to decorate your yard this winter. You will need water, balloons and food coloring.

  • Add a drop or more of food coloring to each balloon (one drop if you’re using a small water balloon and up to three drops if you’re using larger balloons).
  • Add water and tie the balloon.
  • Take balloons outside, placing them gently in a place where they can freeze. You may have to wait a day or so for the balloons to freeze solid, but checking them is part of the excitement.
  • Remove balloons from you frozen globes.
  • Enjoy the burst of color!
  • The globes will last quite a while as long as temperatures stay below or near freezing. Part of the enjoyment is watching them change with the temperature.

Each of these activities will provide entertainment for adults and children; and the projects will get you outside for some fun. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you take advantage of the Michigan winters and cold temperatures to enjoy some unique experiences with your children.

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