One of the things I love most about Safari Ltd. Toobs is their versatility. There are so many different ways to play with them! One of my kids’ favorite Toob animal activities is to “rescue” them from frozen ice. We have done this in a lot of different ways. Sometimes we freeze the animals individually in an ice cube tray, sometimes we dye the ice with food coloring. Regardless of the set-up they always enjoy the process of melting the ice and freeing the animals! Below, I’m walking you through how we set up this activity with our Arctic TOOB for some fun, indoor winter play!
-Blue food coloring (optional)
-Bowl (we used a medium-sized glass bowl)
-Measuring spoons, eye droppers, small cups
-Large tupperware box
-Towel or drop cloth
Step 1: The first step in this activity is to freeze your animals! I often get my kids involved in this part, too. This time, I froze all of our animals in one large block of ice. I began by placing 3-4 of the animals in the bottom of a glass bowl. Next, I added a layer of ice cubes on top of the animals. Place 3-4 more animals into the bowl and cover with more ice. Repeat until all of your animals are in the bowl. Next, add a few drops of blue food coloring into some cold water and pour it into your bowl. Move immediately to the freezer.
Why the ice? The ice cubes help to spread your animals out in the bowl. Without the ice, they will all sink to the bottom and the process of removing them will be a lot faster.
Step 2: Once your ice has frozen, you can set up your activity. I placed a drop cloth on the floor in our kitchen and used a large, shallow Tupperware box to contain the mess. Before adding the ice, I gathered our other supplies: a bowl of warm water, a cup of salt, measuring spoons, small cups and eye droppers. I placed all of this into the box.
Step 3: Remove the ice from the bowl by running warm water over the bottom of the bowl until it is loose. Place your ice block into your Tupperware! Your kids can use the warm water and salt to help melt the ice and remove each of the arctic animals. As your kids remove each animal, take the opportunity to talk to them about the animals in your TOOB! Ask questions like: “Do you know the name of this animal?” “Where does this animal live?” “How does it look the same/different from the other animals you have rescued?” You can also ask them about the scientific process they are observing: “How did you get the animals out of the ice?” “What happens to the ice when you add salt/water?” “What could you do to make it melt faster?”
Why salt? Salt lowers the freezing and melting point of water, which makes your ice melt faster! This is why salt is used to prevent ice from sticking to roads in the winter.