Inuit tribes in northern North America use igloos the way that more southerly wilderness explorers use tents. While the Inuit people live in permanent structures most of the time, they build igloos during hunting expeditions or in an emergency. These domed huts made of ice shield those inside from the wind and cold. The openings feature long tunnels just large enough to wiggle through to prevent wind from whipping through the opening. Creating your own igloo from sugar cubes makes a creative addition to a diorama or an interesting follow-up activity to studying cold weather biomes. These igloos are as easy to make as they are fun.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Sugar cubes
- Confectioner's sugar
- Frosting bag
- Large plate
Whisk one egg white with 1-½ cups confectioner's sugar in a large bowl, creating a thick white paste. Scoop this paste into a frosting bag with a very fine tip. A plastic zipper storage bag with a pinhole in one corner works as well.
Dab a little egg-and-sugar paste onto the bottom of several sugar cubes, arranging them in a circle on your plate. Repeat with a second layer of sugar cubes, stacking them over the seams between the sugar cubes in your foundation circle.
Continue stacking sugar cubes and gluing them into place. Build each circle slighty inward so the circles descend in size and create a dome. Allow the cubes to dry for about an hour.
Build the tunnel and door for your igloo by gluing two parallel sugar cubes to the plate in front of your dome about an inch apart. Glue two cubes on top of each of those cubes, gently pushing the cubes inward so they begin to curve into an arch. Continue gluing on sugar cubes to finish the arch. Allow the cubes to dry for an hour.
Tips and warnings
- Place the sugar cubes for the arch and the dome very gently to avoid collapsing the structure.
- Build your igloo on top of a cake covered in white icing. Embellish it further with a small lake made of blue icing, gummy penguins, Swedish fish, edible glitter and plastic pine trees and seals. This creates an Arctic-themed cake.
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