I've been dreaming of making a kit like our new Wintercraft® Giant Ice Marble Kit for years. Seeing the look of wonder and awe* on a child's face when a globe ice lantern is released from its balloon and lit up with a candle, or colorful lights is unforgettable. So, I knew I wanted to create a kit that would not only teach the basics making globe ice lanterns, but would add an element of magic to the process as well.
Originally, we were simply going to call our kit, "The Ice Marble Kit", but then I saw a picture of an "ice marble" on the internet that looked huge in the photo, but was really about 3" big (larger than glass marbles, yes, but still pretty small). After seeing that, I knew that calling one of our Wintercraft® Globe Ice Lanterns an "Ice Marble" would not be accurate. Ours were actually GIGANTIC marbles made of ice, so The Giant Ice Marble Kit was born!
What age is best for the Giant Ice Marble Kit, you ask?
The sweet spot for is probably ages 8-12, though a younger child working with an adult will enjoy the process, too! Keep in mind that balloons are considered a choking hazard and so adult supervision is necessary under the age of 8.
The Giant Ice Marble Kit is very similar to our Globe Ice Lantern Starter Kit which makes small globe ice lanterns and includes detailed instructions, a small freezing base, and an EZ-close clip. What's different? The balloons are fun colors (each one is colorful or "marble like!") and you can light up the Ice Marbles you make with the included waterproof, battery-operated 16-color remote controlled LED light, and . . .
. . . we added a sheet of Iridescent Mylar to make the light go absolutely crazy! (Crumple it up and stuff the sheet inside the globe, add the LED light and wow!)
In the instructions, we included an ice experiment and an educational project to make getting started even more fun. We will update this blog with project and display ideas as we find/invent them!
I'll call the first project Glow Stick Project. This one's a little weird, but fun! WARNING: When drilling in ice with a power drill, it's important to have adult supervision.
ANOTHER PROJECT: How to use washable markers to color ice lanterns and cut down on the mess! Read this Blog Post about the Washable Marker Project.
P.S. To make handling ice easier for kids, we have waterproof and fleece-lined Smurfy Blue Gloves in size Medium, which is perfect for child-sized hands! (These amazing gloves run small. I wear a size XL.) As a testimonial, I will share this: At the end of last season, a distressed neighbor mom who bought a pair of Smurfy Blues for her child to wear when he made ice lanterns, built snow forts and shaped snowballs, etc., texted me, "Hi Jen! Jake is getting ready to go to school and we just discovered that he has lost one of his magic blue gloves! I'm wondering if you have any of the smaller kid size on hand?"
*Evoking awe and a sense of magic is a priceless parenting goal. In an article by Rebecca Santo for The Washington Post ("Awe might be our most undervalued emotion . . .",11/30/21), the author quotes Psychologist Dacher Keltner, the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center a the University of California at Berkeley about the importance of evoking awe, "It makes us curious rather than judgmental. It makes us collaborative. It makes us humble, sharing and altruistic."
Enjoy the Glow!
-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler, @icewrangler
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