We think of scavenger hunts as something to do when the weather is nice, looking for leaves and rocks and animal habitats. We plan scavenger hunts as a party idea, hunting for pirate treasure. With a little water and colour, you can get the kids playing outside on an Ice Crystal Scavenger Hunt.
Simply fill a ice cute tray with water and add a drop of food colouring to each section. Since gems and crystals come in various colours, we filled the tray with different colours. Alternatively you could add the colouring to your water first and then pour it into your ice tray.
The weather hasn’t been that cold here or I could have put the tray outside to freeze. Instead I just popped it in the freezer at night and it was ready for the kids the next day.
I started hiding the gems around the yard, being careful not to bury them too deep in the snow, and set the kids out on the hunt. Afterwards they took turns hiding the gems for each other. A word of warning, the colouring does start to come off the ice crystals as they are being handled.
When the kids were done their ice crystal savenger hunt, they found new ways to incorporate the coloured ice into their outdoor play.
- They played a game of towers, seeing how many they could stack
- They added the gems as decorations to a fort they were building.
- They played imaginary games like protecting the King’s jewels or finding lost treasure in the arctic.
The coloured ice crystals stayed outside that night only to be enjoyed by the kids the next day. The coloured ice crystals for the scavenger hunt was easy to make and lead to hours of outdoor fun. If you don’t like the idea of using food colouring, you can try your hand at snow painting, using colour-free snow as paint.