The kids will love getting to engage their senses with this colored ice sensory play activity. It’s another one of our favorite summer activities for preschoolers. Add food coloring to various containers of dyed water, freeze, and let the kids explore their senses with cold and colorful water play activity!
I’m excited to share an incredibly easy summer activity that packs a punch . . . colored ice sensory play! I know this isn’t an original idea, as many others have played with colored ice. However, it’s always a hit with my kiddos (Engineer, preschool students, babysitting kiddos, etc). Kids like this for a reason, and it’s always a part of our summer fun!
Some benefits to colored ice sensory play:
- It’s a FUN activity for the kiddos, especially on a hot day!
- It’s easy to set up and clean up.
- There’s little to no expenses to it.
- This activity lasts for hours upon hours!
- Kids of different ages enjoy playing with colorful ice!
- It’s a great sensory experience!
- There’s tons of math and science involved — states of matter, primary colors creating secondary colors, temperature changes, etc.
Materials for the Colorful Ice Play
You really don’t need much for this activity, but it’s full of lots of fun and learning! Here’s what you’ll need to get started (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Ice cube trays
- Assorted containers
- Food coloring
- Candy molds
- Water pitchers
- PVC pipes
- Bath toys
To being with, Engineer and I set about making ice. We filled up a couple of ice cube trays with “plain” water. We also filled up random containers, then added food coloring (’cause food coloring is almost as fun as glitter). We stuck with red and blue at first, then decided to make some yellow too. The next morning, as soon as Little Hurricane arrived, Engineer yelled, “Time for ice!” So we grabbed everything from the freezer and dumped it into our water table. Then we added pitchers of water, some cups, and some funnels. Some PVC pipes, cars, and Thomas bath toys also migrated in after a bit.
Related: Frozen Activities Kids Will Love
Engineer noticed the cracks in some of the ice right off the bat. He set about using a funnel to pour water on them in an effort to enlarge the cracks. As the ice melted, Engineer noticed the water turning a different color. “Hey, it’s purple! The red ice and the blue ice made purple water!” Now, I suppose I could tell you that I’d planned this. But that would be a lie, as it was just a happy circumstance.
Little Hurricane decided he wanted to explore the ice . . . with his mouth. All part of sensory play with a toddler!
Engineer and I got into a great discussion about bubbles, air, and water. Engineer wanted to know where the bubbles came from, so I got to show him how the air coming up through the water creates bubbles. He made the connection to blowing bubbles when swimming. This conversation led to submerging the bath toys and squishing them to watch the bubbles.
Engineer and Little Hurricane both ended up rather wet with this activity, of course! Engineer decided that stripping down to his underwear worked the best, while Little Hurricane didn’t mind one bit. His mama made a great comment, saying, “I love it when he’s wet and dirty when I pick him up. It means he had fun!” I completely agree with her!
Engineer and Little Hurricane played for over 2 hours at the ice and water table, only taking a break for a quick snack. After Little Hurricane left, Engineer went back to it on and off for another few hours. It was a good thing we’d made extra color ice earlier.
Have you and your kiddos played with ice and water this summer? What about colored ice?
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have totally had “Ice, Ice, Baby” stuck in my head all day today (well, the few lyrics that I actually know)!
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and your personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
Preschool Teacher 101 has created some amazing preschool lesson and activity plans that will be perfect for your classroom. We have resources for a wide variety of themes and topics that will last all year long.
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maryanne @ mama smiles says
This is the perfect activity for a hot summer day!
Mary Catherine says
Thanks. Yes, the kiddos have requested it a few times since then . . . usually when it’s beyond hot! 🙂
Nicolette Roux @ Powerful Mothering says
Color ice is a big hit in our house too!!
Thank you for linking up with us at Pin It Tuesday!
Mary Catherine says
Of course! Love to check out the Pin It Tuesday party. Will be back again this week. 🙂