The ice-y suncatcher has always been one of my favorite activities to do in the winter with my children. I usually do it with things we find in nature (pine cones, sticks, leaves, orange slice etc.) but this time I tried it with crystal gems! The directions are the same so you can try it both ways.

Pie plate or cake pan
Yarn, string or ribbon
Items to freeze

Step 1: Find items to put in your Ice-y Sun Catcher
For my Ice-y Sun Catcher, I used crystal gems
Step 2: Arrange the items in the bottom of a shallow pie plate or cake pan





Step 3: Tie a ribbon or piece of string into an 8 inch loop
Step 4: Lay loop of ribbon/string along the edge of container, leave most of the loop hanging out





Step 5: Add enough water to cover the items in pan








Step 6: Place in freezer until frozen
Step 7: Unmold Ice-y Sun Catcher

Step 8: Take outside and hang where it can catch the sun

As I am in Arizona for the winter, mine didn’t last too long!

A fun project to go along with your Ice-y Sun Catchers is  Alphabet Icicles – children spell their name using special icicle letters. It is part of the Iced Up Unit of Study, available at






Visit to see an ice-y suncatcher made from nature.

Why are science-exploration activities important for children?

Children need MANY hands-on, experiential opportunities to explore the world around them. This is how they acquire knowledge, develop higher level thinking and problem solving skills, and make sense of what is in their world.

Going one step farther, teach children the Scientific Method when exploring their world. The Scientific Method includes these steps:
• Make an observation – what are they actually seeing
• Ask a question – what are they curious about what they are seeing
• Propose a hypothesis – one possible answer to their question
• Make predictions – guesses as to what will happen
• Test the predictions – try things out, make and record observations
• Summarize the results – put it all together, what did they learn

Through scientific observation children explore ideas, make predictions, analyze information, and develop vocabulary as they discuss their newly acquired learning with others. This will help children be successful in school and in life in general.

Explore, experience, and enjoy!