Youngsters across the north-east have been making the most of the recent wintry weather – with some stunning igloo creations and even a 7ft snowlady.
While plummeting temperatures and snowy, icy conditions brought challenged for motorists last week, the weather was good news for kids, who wasted no time in taking advantage of the snow.
Across the region snowmen and igloos appeared in parks and gardens as families and children got creative with the snow.
Lisa-marie King, and her daughters Poppy, 4, and Cassidy Stokes, 7, teamed up with their neighbours to build a fantastic igloo complete with seats and lights in Banchory.
Neighbour Claire Jones, 32, who has formed a support bubble with Lisa-marie, along with her children, Isla, 7, and Dylan, 12, completed the team.
Lisa, 29, said: “Myself and our neighbour created our own support bubble at the start of lockdown. Both of our children are in the same school so we thought it would make sense because we don’t really have anybody else around.
“I was filling the boxes with snow and sliding them over to her. The kids helped out and filled boxes and played about in the snow.
“It was exhausting but at the same time it was good to have something to focus on because it’s just a bit dreary in lockdown. The snow was a Godsend.
“As soon as we started the project we just couldn’t stop. It was an amazing feeling as well, actually accomplishing something like that.
“The kids were so chuffed. I haven’t seen them this happy in a long time. They just totally loved it.”
Meanwhile, John Colley decided to create an ice rink in his own north-east garden to help keep his kids’ hockey skills sharp while the Links Ice Arena remains closed.
The garden pad, complete with goals and makeshift tools to maintain it, has been going strong throughout the freezing period.
The rink has provided the perfect distraction for his two boys after the family was snowed in multiple times over the past few weeks – in some cases requiring local farmers to help dig them out and provide them with supplies and heating oil.
John said: “It took about a week to create in early January. The first step was to scrape the first snow to create the edges.
“Then I trampled the next fall of snow and sprayed it with water. Once that was solid I just flooded with a layer of water each night.
“The sustained cold temperature was key.”
The 40 square metre creation has been well-used during the recent cold spell, with John acting as a Zamboni each night to make sure it remains in top condition for sons Cooper, 9, and Elijah, 2.
As well as the rink, John and wife Paula also created caves in the snow – which in some places was more than 2 metres (7ft) deep.
John added: “My car was stuck on the track before some local young farmers dug us out – they were absolute heroes.”
Meanwhile, Sheila Reid’s grandchildren Carla, 12, and Fraser, 11, put together a roomy igloo in Newmachar and enjoyed a hot chocolate inside to warm them up afterward.
Sheila said: “It took them most of Friday afternoon and tiredness and snow were the only things that stopped them completing it on day one. They actually completed it the following morning.
“They had plastic boxes and the snow was ideal for packing into these boxes and then tipping them out.
“They were able to enjoy a hot chocolate inside after their hard work.”
Julie Brookes, 49, of Bridge of Don, also told how her daughter Rachel, 9, loved her igloo so much she braved the cold to sleep in it overnight.
Julie said her husband de Broy, 49, also helped build the hut and then slept in the summerhouse to keep an eye on Rachel.
She said: “It was a family effort. We started it on Friday and finished it on Saturday.
“She just decided she wanted to have a sleepover in it.
“I didn’t expect her to actually sleep in it all night, but once she was in it she was really cosy.
“Her dad stayed out in the summerhouse so he could keep an eye on her.
“It was an awful night as well, really windy, but we were really sheltered in our garden.
“It was a nice family activity.
“We put down loads of blankets and she got her sleeping bag and it was great. She was really happy with it.”
In Woodside Aleasha Murray and her children William Ogilvie, 9, Layla Ogilvie, 6, and Harley Lumley, 2, built an impressive snowlady – seven feet tall.
Aleasha, 28, said their creation took around two hours and got so tall they needed her boyfriend, Sean Lumley, to help.
She added: “It was fantastic, we all had a great laugh.
“We couldn’t reach to put the head on so we had to get my boyfriend to come down and put the head on.
“The kids loved it. My girls were the ones that decided to put the mop as hair, and there’s a bow hairband on it as well.”
Legs from a garden table were used as arms to complete the look.
Meanwhile, brother and sister Stephanie, 21, and Luke Wear, 14, put together an “ice hoose” in Gardenstown near Banff.
Their creation took three hours using buckets of snow and even featured a sign made using food colouring.