We LOVE messy play ideas around here, and these ice play activities certainly fit the bill. Your students will touch on sensory, art, and science concepts with these icy ideas. AND you’ll find math and literacy opportunities within some of the ice activities, too.
Each of the ice messy play ideas shared below start with the same simple base – ice. Even though different ingredients and materials are added to change things up a bit, it still boils down to fun with frozen water. This definitely makes things easier for you when it comes to prepping and planning!
The great thing about all of these ice activities is that you can use them whenever you want! They’re great as part of your winter activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids. Since you’re talking about snow, ice, and cold, these ideas fit in well.
Or add them to your summer activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids for a break from the heat of the season! Of course, they wouldn’t be out of place during the fall or spring either. Basically, break out the icy messy play any time of year.
As I mentioned earlier, all of the activities below have ice in common. Yes, different materials, toys, and ingredients are added, but they’re all about the icy fun. I’ve broken the ideas down into a couple of categories – our tried-and-true ice play ideas, as well as others that are on my “to-do” list.
To find all the details about a specific activity, click on the hyperlinked text (it’s blue and underlined). That brings you to the individual post about the activity. You’ll find more images, as well as directions there. And be sure to save this post for future reference!
Materials for Your Icy Messy Play Ideas
Here are some supplies you might want for all of the ice activities. You can even use these materials to come up with your own icy invitations for the kids. (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
- Ice trays
- Candy molds
- Small toys
- Themed confetti
- Food coloring
- Baking soda
- Spray bottles
- Paint brushes
- Liquid watercolors
- Plastic bin
All of the materials listed above can be purchased in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors. You can always curate your supply list to match your theme. Or, let your students raid your supply closet and come up with an ice play idea of their own!
Our Favorite Ice Play Ideas for Children
As I mentioned earlier, these are some of my favorite ice activities. These are invitations I’ve created and used with many, many children over the years! I like to call them my “kid-tested, teacher-approved” ideas since so many children of different ages have enjoyed them.
- Exploding Treasure Chests (check out the video below to see the process)
Do you have any ice play activities that your students request over and over (and over!) again? These have definitely been those kinds of activities for me. Feel free to leave me a comment with some of the icy fun your kids love!
More Ice Activities for Kids
As promised, here are even more icy play ideas to try with your students! I’ve tried some of these with children, with the rest on my “I can’t wait to try it!” list.
- Ice Cube Proprioception from The OT Toolbox
- Rainbow Ice Cube Sensory Play from Hands On As We Grow
- Painting on Ice Blocks from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
- Spider Ice Halloween Activity from Busy Toddler
- Monster Ice Sensory Activity from Toddler Approved
- Rainbow Ice Cube Painting from Share and Remember
- Frozen Ocean Animal Rescue from Mama.Papa.Bubba
- Shaving Cream and Ice from JDaniel4’s Mom
Now that I’ve shared over 15 ice play activities for kids, it’s decision time. Which one are you going to try first? I know, I know . . . it’s a tough choice! Let me know the icy activities your students end up enjoying the most.
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Originally published January 2015.
Samantha @ Stir the Wonder says
Thanks for featuring our ice activities!
Science Kiddo says
What an awesome collection of ice activities! I love that most of them are so simple and fun to do. Thanks for including our Fishing for Ice activity!
For the first time I have seen fun ice-activity for kids. M gonna try this with my 2 little kids. Thanks for such beautiful ideas.