You don't need to head to the Arctic to experiment with life in an igloo. Igloos have been used for over 1,000 years by the Inuit and other Native American tribes and can still be found throughout the Arctic today. Your child can build her own igloo at home and learn about a different kind of home used in other cultures. Unlike the Inuit version, this structure will be built out of ice, not snow. All you need is water, empty milk containers, and some super cold weather!
What You Do:
- Decide what sort of winter structure you and your child would like to build. Would your child like an ice wall? An ice igloo? A circular fortress? It's up to you!
- Collect enough empty half-gallon milk containers to build a good-sized structure. Anywhere from 20-50 containers (or more!) will work. Cut off their tops, so you're left with just the square bottoms. Choose a very cold day and help your child fill each of your containers with water. You can add some blue food coloring if you'd like your ice blocks to be tinted, for an extra chilly effect.
- Leave your milk container "molds" outside to freeze. (This may take a few days, or just one particularly freezing night.) Once they're frozen, you and your child can have a blast ripping off the cardboard molds, so that you're left with just blocks of ice.
- Then start stacking! Rub a little bit of water between each block to make them stick together. Then enjoy to fruits of your labor! You can have a snowball fight and use your igloo as a fortress or pretend you live in Eskimo tribe!
If your child doesn't have the patience to collect all those milk containers, or if you live in too warm a climate to make it viable to do this activity outside, consider a mini-version. You can do the same thing using ice cubes!