Kids will enjoy making this easy-to-assemble sugar-cube igloo. This inexpensive project is a fun craft for the winter holidays or any time of year. Kids will be able to do most of the construction and decorating on their own. Parents should gather the short list of items, supervise the building process and assist with transporting the finished and dried igloo.
Find a sturdy base to build and transport your sugar cube igloo. Use a heavy-duty disposable plate with a flat center area with a diameter greater than eight inches. An equally large clean piece of corrugated cardboard can be substituted. Cut the outside raised rim of the plate, leaving behind only a flat circle. If you're using a plastic disposable plate, this may create a sharp edge, so check the base before allowing a child to touch it. Remove sharp edges by smoothing them with a piece of small-grit sandpaper. Wash and dry your base completely.
Bricks and Mortar
Buy one box of sugar cubes and one small tub of white frosting. Avoid whipped frosting as it doesn't hold as well when wet. A pressurized decorating dispenser can with a built-in tip will make mortar application easier. You can also make your own basic frosting to cement your sugar cubes together. Whip together 2 egg whites and 3 cups of powdered confectioner's sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture until just before using.
Your child will need to begin the igloo by creating a strong, dry first level. Have him or her draw a circle with a 7-inch diameter by tracing the rim of a large bowl with a marker. Next, your child should trace this circle with a 1/8-inch bead of the frosting mortar, leaving a 2-inch uncovered gap. This gap will be the entrance to the igloo. Go around the incomplete circle, placing sugar cubes in the frosting as close together as possible. To start subsequent levels, have children add frosting to the bottom of the new sugar cube before placing it directly above the join between two cubes on the previous level. This will make the igloo stronger and more neat looking. Place each row of bricks slightly closer to the center than the last. Your child should allow 15 minutes of drying time after building each set of two levels.
Once the igloo has finished drying ,cover the remaining edges of the base and any major spaces between bricks with leftover frosting. Sprinkle the area surrounding the igloo with finely grated sweetened coconut. This will give the scene the appearance of freshly fallen snow. Now, add a toothpick with a construction paper flag attached to the top of the igloo. Eskimo or other winter toy figures will add life to the scene. Invite children to create a story explaining what is happening at their igloo.
Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.