This Melting Elsa’s Frozen Hands activity is a blast whether you’re a “Frozen” fan or not! It’s a great science experiment for kids, and easy to prep using a latex glove and odds and ends from the craft room.
We are ALL about Frozen-themed activities these days! I have some huge Elsa and Anna fans here in my daycare. I’m embracing this fleeting (it is fleeting, isn’t it?) passion, and to give ’em more of what they love I came up with this frozen hand activity the other day. It’s definitely going down as one of our all time favourite favourite science activities. My little Frozen fans were super-excited over this one.
Let me show you how we prepared this science activity and all the fun we had with it!
Tools and instruments:
- latex gloves
- pink and purple odds and ends (see list below)
- driveway salt (in bowls, coloured with a few drops of food colouring)
- table salt (in shakers)
- small spoons/scoops
and medicine droppers
- pate knives
- paint brushes
- and turkey basters
- shallow pans or baking dishes
- bowl of room temperature water
To fill our gloves, we used:
- beads, buttons and craft foam shapes
- tinsel garland, chopped up
- plastic crystals
and glass vase fillers
- mardi gras beads (which we’d cut up during a preschool scissor-skill activity)
- metallic pipe cleaners
- Curling ribbon
The hooligans first dropped all of their treasures into the latex gloves. This was a great fine-motor activity in itself.
Then I filled the gloves with water, and secured each one tightly with a twist tie. For fun I added some curling ribbon to the top, and I placed all of the hands on a baking sheet and set it in the freezer over-night.
*You want to space the fingers out before they go into the freezer so the gloves are easy to remove once frozen.
This is what the gloves looked like before they went into the freezer:
And here they are after. The girls inspected them closely, and were fascinated by how cold and frosty they were.
Removing the latex gloves from the frozen hands:
To remove the gloves from the hands, run them under a light flow of very cold tap water. Using scissors to cut away the latex, slowly slide the gloves off the hands. It’s important to work gently so you don’t snap the fingers. Use the cold water to help melt away any stubborn bits. *For the record I broke one thumb – all in all, not bad. I’ve done worse in the past.
Let’s melt those hands!
I set the activity up on our old thrift shop coffee table in the backyard. It works wonderfully as an outdoor activity table.
Each hooligan received her frozen hand in a shallow baking dish, along with a set of tools for excavating, a bowl of driveway salt coloured with food colouring, and a shaker of plain table salt.
I placed a bowl of water on the table, and they got to work!
They had a blast scooping, pouring, shaking and squirting the salt and water to start the melting process.
Quite quickly, they were able to start digging away at the frozen treasures.
The turkey basters were very popular. A baster is a great tool for helping with co-ordination and muscle control. There’s quite a knack, as you know, to drawing water up into a baster, but even the youngest ones catch on quite quickly.
The syringes are always very popular as well. And they’re not just used to melt the ice! Much fun was had trying to jet a perfect stream of water out across the yard or up above their heads.
I have visions of another water-play activity following close on the heels of this one, and it will definitely involve these syringes!
The girls worked away for about an hour using all of the equipment I’d set out for them.
They dug and chopped and picked and poured until they’d freed almost every last treasure from their icy hands.
What a wonderful way to spend a warm, spring morning!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
You completely ROCK!! I can’t wait for summer break to do with my girls. They will love it. Thank you.
Love this idea! Hope you don’t mind me featuring it on my blog 🙂
Not at all, Michelle! Thank you so much for sharing!
Love it……you make it a great summer fun time for my little girl and I to have together..
Sally Mostafa Elanwar
Love it &will try soon 🙂
The mommy talks
So cute! I bet they all just LOVED that! Will have to pin this for summer! Love your cool ideas!
Just wondering What kind of treasures would you use to try this activity with boys?
Just sent you an email, Tahira, with a couple of links, but for anyone else who’s curious, just check the links that are in the post (they’re highlighted in red, and underlined).
You are so brilliantly creative! This nana is your next subscriber.
Did this last weekend with my 3 year old twins. They spent one hour freeing the treasures. At one point, my son made his dad bring out his hammer and screwdriver and did some heavy duty hunting!!! I added metal forks, reminiscent of the ice pick that is used in the first scene in the movie.
My daughter wsnts a frozen birthday party so I thought since (she has a summer birthday and we go to the park) we would do this for an activity. The hand will be their goodie bag. Great idea! Thank you for sharing. I dont quite understand what the salt and syringes are for though. Would you mind emailing me to explain in further detail?
To help with the melting of the ice, Michelle. Salt speeds up the melting process, and the syringes are a fun way to get the water on to the frozen ice to melt it.
I did something along this line for Halloween decorations for a restaurant I managed. We were encouraged to decorate without spending more than $100. One thing I did was take the same type of gloves and paint streaks inside the gloves with red food color paste. I then added water and draped over items in the freezer to make them different shapes. This was then put into a punch bowl filled with red punch at our hostess station.
Oh, that’s brilliant, Nancy! We’ve done the frozen hands for halloween too – dyed them green, purple and orange, filled them with googly eyes, black and orange beads etc. I LOVE your idea with the red food paste though, and freezing them in bizarre shapes is so awesome!
I LOVE this idea!! My daughter isn’t quite old enough for it but I’ve definitely pinned it to come back to. I have nieces that will love this as well! Glad I read the comments because I didn’t even think of adapting it to fit a holiday like Halloween as a sensory activity! Thanks for sharing!
I LOOOOOOVE these, and I know a ton of little ones who’re going to love trying it out. 🙂
Love this! I am using it as the craft for my daughter’s Frozen birthday party this week. I made 25 of them last night! Do you think I can take the gloves off in advance and stick them back in the freezer? Awesome blog!
Yes, you should be able to remove the gloves ahead of time, and then put the hands back in the freezer. They may melt a little while you’re taking the gloves off, and you won’t want them to stick and freeze to the surface you put them on, so maybe place them on top of some plastic wrap or wax paper so you can tear it away if that happens (instead of trying to snap them off the metal baking sheet or freezer rack. Know what I mean?
Hi I’m wondering how you could get kids form k to gr 5 interested but not bored ( especially the boys) I have up to 15 kids in my before and after school group.
I write about preschool activities, Nancy, but you can check out the blog and facebook page called Frugal Fun for Boys. She has 4 sons in and about that age group, and lots of activities geared especially to boys of that age.
Such a fun idea! I’d like to do this for my daughter’s Feozen theme birthday party next week. How far in advance do you freeze the hands. If I did a few days before do you think it would make it harder to get the gloves off or no difference? Thanks x
No difference at all, Sara. I’ve frozen some overnight, and some days in advance. Just dribble a little cold water over them and work very slowly when removing the gloves. Keep the water running gently over them if need be. Have fun!
Love your ideas
Fantastic idea!! I love it!!!
Isn’t driveway salt toxic?
I had the same thought about toxicity but I think we are thinking of driveway melt which is a chemical mix. I’m pretty sure what is recommended is just pure salt but in bigger crystals making is more fun for play (and a better price than buying coarse sea salt)!
This was a GREAT activity! My three year old and her bestie had so much fun with this! Thank you for the idea!
Such a great idea! I think I’ll try it for my 5-year-old’s Frozen birthday party! I’ll probably do little ice blocks (instead of glove/hands) just to keep it simpler for myself. Will fill with things to amuse a mix of school-age kids, such as your suggested crafty/shiny items as well as bouncy balls, coins, dice, hair barrettes, etc. Thanks so much for your inspiration!