I really don’t like winter. Really. I dislike being cold more than I dislike brussel sprouts. Well, maybe not. So, I am often encouraging my boy to play outside, in the cold, without me. Even though his skin doesn’t like the cold, he loves the cold. He claims he wants to live in Alaska. On those days when it is particularly cold, and he really wants me to be outside with him, I need to think fast!
On one such day, I did think fast. I said, “Isaiah, remember that Curious George where it was so cold outside everything he took outside froze? Remember how he made a bowling ball out of a balloon, and pins out of frozen milk cartons? Want to try that?” Well I got a resounding “YES!” So, we dug around the house for things suitable to fill full of water and place outside to freeze. (things that weren’t me, cause I would have froze in 5 seconds) It was fun, it was silly, we had a good time. I filled things, he put them outside.
Now of course in the beginning he had to check them every 5 minutes. I reminded him (often) that George went to bed, and in the morning, when he woke up, his filled stuff was frozen. Finally I convinced him to stop checking.
First thing in the morning he woke up excitedly, “do you think they’re frozen? Can we check? Can we???” Well, did I mention I don’t like to be cold? So I begged him to wait until we were dressed, fed, I had 3 cups of boiling hot tea. Then we checked! Believe it or not it was about 20 degrees warmer the next day, the balloon was sitting in the sun, so I realized we had to hurry! This was Isaiah with the juice carton before we peeled it.
Amazingly it retained the shape completely. However Isaiah could barely hold it because it was so cold! So we placed in on the old sled to move it around.
Unfortunately we did not have the same luck with the balloon. I think the combination of sitting in the sun before we opened it, the sheer mass (we really filled it) and Isaiah’s overzealousness to open it, made that part of the experiment go kaput. However he still loved, breaking the balloon and smashing the ice!
That is not balloon in his mouth, it is an orange. I always accuse him of being a chipmunk, because he stores food in his mouth before he eats it!
All in all it was a really fun mini science experiment for him. We didn’t learn anything specifically, except water freezes when it’s freezing out. A ginormous chunk of ice is too cold to hold, and the sun will melt ice fairly quickly. But that’s OK, we got cause and effect. We got breaking things! We got some winter fun and mom didn’t have to freeze to death!