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January Dirt
ice sculpture...make sure your images are loaded to see more

DIY: Backyard Ice Art

Brrrrr! As frigid and chilling as it may seem at this time of year, these cold spells are an amazing opportunity to get outdoors and take advantage of the elements to create ART! Ice art, in particular! Ice art is loads of fun and encourages boundless creativity because it works on so many different scales. Below, find some suggestions from What Color is the Wind by Ed Bieber...

For those with a backyard and a kiddie pool (a hard plastic one, not the inflatable kind, will work best) a large ice sculpture can be executed. Fill up the tub about a quarter to a half full (if your outside spigot is turned off or frozen, you might have to haul buckets from inside). Then, throw in leaves, acorns, twigs, whatever catches your eye -- c'mon, use your imagination! Let it freeze solid over the next few days. You can then remove this giant object d'ice by flexing the sides of the pool as you gently tip it (careful, it's heavy); warm water on the outside will help if the pool won't let go easily. Roll your creation (this is why a round pool is best) to a spot where you can see it from a window. Prop it up with some boards, branches, or against a tree. Keep an eye on your sculpture over the coming days or weeks. Watch the sun shine through it, how it melts and refreezes, where holes form, what a little snow can do.
odelia with sculpture
For those without a backyard or without a kiddie pool, smaller projects can be just as impressive. Try filling any container with water and add in your materials before letting it freeze. You can experiment with layering by filling the vessel up just a bit with water and objects, letting that layer freeze, then adding more objects and water, letting that freeze, adding more, and so on. Tip: boiled water is more likely to freeze clear!

You can use a bundt pan to create a wreath shape and fill it with treats for the birds! Hang by a window and watch who comes by. Freeze a single layer of water with a beautiful object in the lid of a container for a classy look. The possibilities are truly endless!

Every day, and every change in the weather, will bring another transformation to your art. How long will it last...?

We'd love to see what you create!
bird feeder
container lid art
image via Heather Fontenot
image via Artful Kids

Dig into The Dirt

click an image below to open the article of your choice
The Sustainability Scoop: Meat by Ayla Dunn-Bieber
by Ayla Dunn-Bieber
Snowflakery by Chuck Stead
by Chuck Stead
Rockland Lake and Times Gone By  ft. Hot Cocoa Recipe by Eva Szigeti

Upcoming Events & Announcements

chuck stead

Winter Tales with Chuck Stead

1/19: 12-1 PM | Master storyteller Chuck Stead spins funny, poignant, outrageous, and true stories of growing up in the nearby Ramapo Mountains. Free event!
The Nature Place Day Camp @ Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road | Chestnut Ridge, NY
bow drilling

Primitive Living Skills - Children:

Make Your Own Bow Drill Kit (Part 1)
2/3: 10 AM-12:30 PM | For children ages 10-14. Check out all workshop details and register here!
The Nature Place @ Threefold Educational Center
285 Hungry Hollow Road | Chestnut Ridge, NY
fire tending

Primitive Living Skills - Family:

Fire and Water
2/3: 2 PM-4:30 PM | For families with children ages 6+. Check out all workshop details and register here!
The Nature Place @ Threefold Educational Center
285 Hungry Hollow Road | Chestnut Ridge, NY

Green Meadow Waldorf School Begins NYC Busing in September 2019

Green Meadow (who's grounds are the campus for our summer program) will be offering busing from Manhattan and Riverdale beginning in the 2019/20 school year. Find more details about this wonderful education here.
"To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June." 

- Jean-Paul Sartre

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, January 19th
Sunday, February 3rd
Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, March 2nd
Sunday, March 24th

Please email us in advance at to set up your appointment. We'll meet at Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977.

Non-competitive and nature-oriented, The Nature Place enables children to be themselves, with their friends, in the great outdoors. Learn more at
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