Each season provides us with a picturesque window from which to view God’s handiwork, but the seasons also present the perfect opportunity to teach our children about the Creator. Spring and summer provide us with opportunities to learn about God’s amazing attention to detail. But, fall and winter exhibit how God continues to provide for the needs of His creation all year long.
While Nature takes a much needed rest this time of year, winter can be full of glorious surprises! In America, as in countries around the world, many are blessed with the miracle of snow. The perfect combination of rain and freezing temperatures can even coat our world with a layer of ice, creating a veritable winter wonderland! Icicles sparkle in sunlight. All of creation seems to shout “glory!”
But, how often do we forget to pause and rejoice in that glory? Homeschooling is more than just completing textbooks and checking off lists. It’s about relationships, growing beautiful human beings, and training them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). In order to do that, life sometimes requires we press the pause button on our teacher’s manuals and gather our chicks for some good old-fashioned fun!
As a kid, one of my favorite things to do when I happened upon an icicle was to break it off and eat it. But, icicles aren’t always easy to find, so Homeschool Legacy has devised a way for you to grow your own! Do you live in a climate that experiences below freezing temperatures? If so, here are some simple instructions for growing your own icicle.
One 1′ long string
One clean, empty, plastic milk gallon jug (minus the cap)
Small sewing needle
Four 4′ foot long strings
One large metal nut or washer
Four 2″ pieces of electrical tape
Fill a milk jug ¾ full with room temperature to lukewarm water.*
Using one string, make a loop around the milk jug handle. Hang it on a plant hanger. Make sure it hangs at an angle.
Using a small needle, gently poke the finer end of it into the lowest corner of the jug. Be careful! Pushing it in all the way will create too big of a hole causing the water to stream instead of drip. Remove the needle and look for a steady drip. You should see a drip about every 10 seconds. If you don’t, poke the needle in just a bit more. Remove it. Check the drip rate until you get it right.
Gather the four remaining strings and tie them in a loop. Hang the loop from the same hook your jug is now hanging from. Drape one of each of the four strings down the four sides of the milk jug.
Thread the ends of the four hanging strings through a nut (or washer). Tie them to the nut such that the drip falls directly onto the nut (the metal nut will become extremely cold when temperatures plummet and will play a key role in growing your icicle).
Using 2″ pieces of electrical tape, tape the four strings to the jug’s sides as you adjust the position of the nut to line up perfectly with the drip (be sure the exterior of the jug is completely dry or your tape will not stick).
*Water temperature is key to your success. If the water is too cold, the jug will freeze and plug up the hole and stop the drip. It the water is too hot, it may melt the forming icicle or inhibit its growth altogether. Play with the water temperature until you get just the right water temperature to outside temperature ratio. The colder the outside temperature, the warmer your water should be. Your efforts will pay off big in just a few hours with a big, beautiful icicle…like ours!