Make An Ice Cave – small world play

I’m sure everyone has seen the beautiful coloured ice balls that have been doing the rounds on twitter and Facebook. If you haven’t then take a peek here.

Well, you can use the same principle to make the most fabulous ‘Ice Caves’ for children (and adults) to play with.

How to make an ice cave


You will need – balloons, water, liquid food colouring (do not use paste) and a freezer although if the weathers cold enough you could try leaving them outside.

1. Take a balloon and add about 0.5-1 tsp of food colouring depending on how big a ball your making or how strong you want the colour.

2. Next fill the balloon with water and tie a knot in the end.

3. Put the balloon in the freezer and leave for 5-6 hours. Take the balloon out when it is solid enough on the outside to give a squeeze without breaking and there is still water swishing around inside. You may need to adjust the time depending on how big the filled balloon is, so keep checking.

4. Over a sink carefully pull the balloon away. Depending on how thick the ice is you should get a natural break hole in the ice as the weight of the water causes the ice to break. This hole or two provides just enough space to add little toys.

Clear Ice Cave

Melted Mammoth Ice Cave

5. Because the food colouring wasn’t stirred in and is denser than water it will sink to the bottom of the balloon forming a beautiful coloured base to the cave.

Ice Cave structure

Melted Red Polar Bear Ice Cave

They made fantastic homes for the girls Playmobil and plastic animals. Which was constantly changing as the ice melted.

Make your own small world ice cave

 Melted Family Ice Cave

If you’re really lucky you might even get to find some ice crystals inside like we did with the clear Cave. Their jagged shapes jutting up from within the Ice cave like big icy knives.

Ice Crystals

Ice Crystal Structure

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23 Responses to Make An Ice Cave – small world play

  1. Wow, that is fantastic! much better than a solid ball!

  2. Pippa says:

    What a genius idea! I love that. Definitely one to try with the kids, especially as we’ve had no snow to play with down here… A perfect alternative!

  3. This is so cool! I haven’t seen anything like it and want to try it with my kids. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. We are from Texas, so seeing anything remotely similar to a real ice cave is… well, impossible.

  4. trina polesky says:

    Love this craft this could be great fun even outside you could make several and put them in an empty sand box and have a little ice cave village:-)

  5. Kerry says:

    I really love this idea and think that I will have to have a go at this with my little one xx

  6. Looks like lots of fun!! The toys just look “so happy there”.

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  7. This is one of the neatest things I’ve seen in a long time! Excited to try it!

  8. Jo says:

    Great idea, i’ve pinned, just need enough room in the freezer!

  9. TheBoyandMe says:

    I completely failed to make ice marbles with The Boy so I think I’d have to try these in the freezer and take them out before they’re completely frozen. Brilliant idea though.

  10. kimslittlelife says:

    My kids would love this! Visiting from Project Inspire.

  11. That’s an excellent idea. mine will love that! I really love the coloured base to the cave :)

  12. Carrie says:

    Oh, how neat!! What a fun thing to create and play with. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

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  17. What as great idea! I know my kids would enjoy this, particularly as they miss living somewhere with a proper winter.

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  19. Delighted to feature this on #CreateMakeShare such a wonderful Small World play idea!

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