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.
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.
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)!