When the temperatures dip into the teens like they have this week I consider the wild animals and the domestic! I put containers of water and in less lean times lots of bird seed out for the little birds that remain. This year the rabbits are dipping into the water so it's going fast. I find using metal pie tins very helpful. The water when it freezes pops right out for refilling with warm water.
I just made the rounds of all the pie tins, one in the pasture, one in the middle yard, and one out front under the fruit trees. I ended up with all these fun rounds of ice. NOW THAT GIVES ME AN IDEA!
Kids love new ideas, new things to learn. Have your children put a pie tin out and let it freeze (sorry for those of you in warm climates) Next day they will have a circle of ice to play with. Try it in different shapes but it has to be a container that will let you release the ice and won't crack and brake. (our big water tubs for pasture pets are driving us crazy, we had to take a sledge hammer and brake the ice and scoop it out, burrrr..)
Now go and have some fun! It's 34 degrees F here now so it's too warm but tonight that will all change. Great way to teach them lots of fun principles of science! Expansion of elements, forms of elements etc.