Photo Friday: Ice paleontology and trampolines


freeing the dinos

11pm. Two fans and one glass filled with iced water. And still the sweat is dripping off me. My legs are stuck to the chair. I think it's safe to say that tomorrow is going to be just as hot as today ... and yesterday and the day before.

Our first few weeks back in Penang were the end of the wet season. Daily storms and a few days each week that were overcast with occasional showers. These are the days I love in Penang. It's cool, the air is fresh and the thunder is amazing. Walking in light rain when it's 28 degrees feels so good. But the past two weeks have marked the start of the half a year in Penang that's hot and generally pretty dry. This week has been worse than the normal. Those -25 degrees Celsius European winter days are starting to feel pretty nice about nice.

Noah wrote this a few weeks ago to a friend (under protest of course!) while it was still raining most days and bearable. That pretty much sums up my feeling at the moment. How can it be so hot at 11pm?

wish it was snowing

So what do you do when you have a really hot spell in the tropics to keep the kids occupied? A lot of indoor play, swims and visits to the mall! And anything that you can think of that involves ice or water.

The other day I saw a blog post for a fantastic idea of something to do with kids on a hot day - excavating toy dinosaurs from ice. I called Noah and Hayley over to show them. They made it as far as the first photo before they were out in the backyard with every dinosaur they owned, several large tupperware containers and hoses. I guess they liked the idea. Another travelling family is staying at a guesthouse on our street this week. We messaged them and sure enough their two youngest boys wanted to try it too.

I soon had a freezer filled with containers of water and dinosaurs. Good thing I haven't been grocery shopping this week and my freezer was practically empty!

The next day when it was nicely frozen we tipped out our giant ice cubes on the driveway and the kids set to work with every tool they thought might be useful. Ice cream scoops, spoons, spatulas, hammers, salt and warm water.

homeschool fun

Hammers were the best tool for the job, although we had to have a discussion about why you wouldn't use hammers is this was a real dinosaur dig!

Digging for dinos

Half an hour later we had the dinosaurs freed and a drive way covered in ice.

icey dinos

There was only one possible progression from here - collect all the ice and tip it onto the trampoline for some icy jumping fun!

what else do you do with a whole heap of ice on a hot day


In case you'd like to do this too, here are the steps (although it's pretty obvious!)

1) Direct your children to find dinosaurs (or other plastic/metal toys) of various sizes and weights. You want them to be different sizes as you have to use different techniques to get a smaller toy free of the ice than a larger toy -  that adds to the challenge and prolongs the activity! Different weights helps ensure that some dinos will float to the top and some will stay on the bottom when you add the water - that way the dinos are distributed all throughout the ice, not just floating on the top or bottom.

2) Select a large plastic container and add your toys. It's a good idea to have one container per child. Fill it with water and make sure you are happy with the arrangement of dinosaurs. Place it in the freezer and leave overnight.

3) The next day tip out your ice and set about collecting every kitchen/garden tool you think might be useful. Ice and water is going to go everywhere so make sure you have a large area outside to work. We did it on our driveway but the original post we read suggested completing the activity inside a small plastic wading pool.


And there you have it - a great solution for keeping kids occupied on a hot day in the tropics. Icy paleontology fun!

Thanks to Delicious Baby for another Photo Friday.

Next Post: Hiho hiho, it's back to the Perhentians we go Previous Post: I knew I spoke too soon!

About the Author


Tracy Burns

Tracy always talked about traveling a lot more than she ever traveled. Married to an avid traveler that thankfully changed. After almost two years exploring South East Asia and Australia, enjoying the most amazing food, temples, beaches, and more importantly every sweet food treat she can find, Tracy is keen to explore further afield. Tracy juggles homeschooling, playtime, blogging and learning more about photography while they travel. Some days she juggles them better than others!

Comments (13):

  1. Brilliant! I'm totally stealing this idea for my kids this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. What a great idea especially with summer coming up on this side of the world. Definitely a good one for dinosaur loving kids too. Thanks for the tip!

  3. It was fantastic fun. Even better we only needed materials we already had a home. I'm pretty sure we'll be doing this again and again! Hope your kids enjoy it just as much as ours did Mary and Heather

  4. Hmm, those are some pretty cute kids;)

  5. What a fantastic idea! I am so using it when it's 100 here in summer!bIf you would like to link up with another Photo Meme, I host Friday Daydreamin' every Friday! I'd love for you to join!


  6. My wife and I loved the idea of freezing the kids toys in a big block of ice on a hot day! I'm going to add that to a must do this summer.

  7. Brilliant idea for a hot day!!

  8. I am awe-inspired a) at having the concept and b) actually putting it into practice. It looks like a lot of fun. For them... x

  9. Always nice to turn an activity into a teaching moment - love it!

  10. What a fab idea for a hot summer day. This is definitely going on my "to do" list with my daughter this summer! Super cute photos, too :-)

  11. @Theodora - I can't claim credit for the idea. As for putting it into practice - I had not choice in that one. The kids were honestly in the backyard with hoses and dinosaurs two seconds after seeing the photos.

    @Mary - yeah but I don't know about that kid in the tie-dyed shirt. He just kind of wandered in from down the street. Any idea who owns him?

    Thanks Andi, Sonja, Lisa, Beca, In2Cents and Lisa. It was a lot of fun. I'm not sure what they enjoyed more - smashing the ice or jumping on an icy trampoline afterwards. Either way it was a winning concept for a hot day. Plus almost no mess!

  12. Awesome idea Tracy! Any trips down our way planned?

  13. Kristy - probably not until towards the end of the year. Want to meet us at Legoland in JB when it opens???

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