What do hot cocoa and igloos have in common? Marshmallows, of course! Take this fun winter craft and build an igloo out of the white squishy candy as a fun way to explore the winter season. Hopefully, more of the marshmallows make it onto the igloo and not into the mouth! You can also add in some toothpicks and build your own marshmallow structures.
What Is An Igloo?
An igloo is a type of shelter made from blocks of ice placed on each other, usually in the shape of a dome. Hunters used Igloos in winter as temporary shelters when they were away from their homes.
Igloos are the traditional dwellings of the Inuit and other Arctic peoples, and have several features that make them well-suited as shelters in extremely cold environments.
Igloos are constructed with snow blocks, which provide excellent insulation. Snow is a natural insulator, trapping warm air and preventing the cold from penetrating the structure. The thick walls of the igloo help to retain the heat generated by the occupants.
The rounded dome shape of an igloo is aerodynamic and helps to minimize the impact of strong winds. This design reduces wind resistance, preventing the structure from being easily damaged or collapsing during storms.
The circular shape of an igloo is efficient in terms of space utilization. It minimizes the surface area exposed to the external cold environment, helping to conserve heat generated inside.
The snow blocks used in igloo construction have high thermal mass, meaning they can absorb and retain heat. This helps to regulate the temperature inside the igloo, keeping it relatively stable.
Clever Entrance Design
The entrance to an igloo is typically lower than the main living area. This design helps to trap cold air at the entrance, preventing it from directly entering the warmer interior and minimizing heat loss.
The sleeping area in the igloo is raised because warm air rises and cooler air settles. The igloo’s entrance acts as a cold trap, while the sleeping area holds the warm air from a stove, lamp, warm bodies, or other means.
Igloos are part of the cultural heritage of Arctic communities, and their design reflects generations of knowledge about survival in extreme cold. The construction techniques have changed over time to prioritize comfort and functionality.
Learn About More Adaptions To Extreme Cold:
- Polar Bear Blubber Experiment
- Whale Blubber
- Reindeer Facts & Activities
- Penguin Activities
- Snowy Owl Craft
How To Make A Marshmallow Igloo
Can you make an igloo out of marshmallows? Try your hand at this fun marshmallow-building challenge!
TIP: Feel free to use cotton balls or pom poms as an alternative to marshmallows!
- Plastic coffee cup lid
- Paper plate
STEP 1. Cut a “door” out of the lid about 1 inch wide.
STEP 2. Use a paper plate as your base and glue a circle of marshmallows around the bottom of the lid.
STEP 3. Glue a second circle of marshmallow on top of the first layer.
STEP 4. Repeat until the plastic lid is covered.
STEP 5. Glue more marshmallows on the top to make the igloo taller.
Bonus Activities With Marshmallows
Have marshmallows leftover or an extra packet of marshmallows on hand? You will want to try these ideas…
- Marshmallow Slime
- Build 3D shapes with marshmallows
- Marshmallow and toothpick tower
- Marshmallow spaghetti challenge
More Fun Winter Ideas
Looking for even more winter activities for the kiddos, we have a great list that ranges from winter science experiments to snow slime recipes to snowman crafts. Plus, they all use standard household supplies, making your setup easy and your wallet even happier!
- Indoor Activities For Kids
- Things To Do In The Snow
- Printable Winter Activity Sheets
- Winter Science Experiments
- Snowflake Activities
- Snowman Activities
- Winter LEGO Building Ideas
- Winter Sensory Bins
Even if you don’t live in a snowy winter climate, there are many ways to explore the season!
WHAT’S INSIDE? You’ll find 250+ Pages of Winter theme projects for science, STEM, and art!
- 25+ Winter science activities and STEM projects for kids that are easy to set up and fit into the time you have available, even if it’s limited! NEW: Observation sheets for activities.
- Printable winter theme STEM activities that are simple but engaging for home or classroom. Perfect for K-2 and beyond and adaptable to many skill levels.
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- Fun snowflake theme STEM, including snowflake cutting templates, snowflake tinker cards, and snowflake science activities, including a snowflake formation cycle!
- Even more, winter printable sheets include hibernating animals sort, snow weather cycle, 5 senses for winter journal pages, thaumatrope patterns, and fun extras all with a winter theme!