Ice cube painting is a super sensory play activity for toddlers (it’s completely taste safe!) and preschoolers on a warm, sunny day. It’s cold and colourful and slippery too!
And if you put a piece of poster board, white paper or paper towel underneath your sensory play, you might just discover a sweet painted surprise at the end. This almost accidental artwork is a lovely keepsake or can be used to create a card for a friend or family member.
Like we did with our rainbow magic milk experiment, we’ve used neon colours for this ice cube painting activity, which resulted in really bright, beautiful coloured ice cubes – so cool…no pun intended! And if you have older children as well, they can try out these glitter ice painting sticks at the same time as your little ones explore.
Ice Cube Painting & Sensory Play
You will need:
- Ice cube tray
- Neon food coloring
- Large tray
- White poster board, paper or kitchen towel/paper towel
First you will need to prepare your ice cubes. Start by pouring water into the ice tray. Do not overfill the individual sections of the tray or the individual colours may run into other sections.
Add 2-3 drops of liquid food colouring to each section of the ice cube tray.
Place the tray in the freezer and leave until frozen completely.
Place a sheet of poster board, paper or kitchen towel into the large tray.
If you don’t have a tray you can use the lid of a plastic storage bin or a short sided bin, like that you might use for a sensory bin. To help minimize any mess, take the tray outside for play.
Empty the frozen ice into the tray.
Allow your child to explore the ice cubes. The ice will start to melt and leave colors on the poster board.
The neon food colouring is especially bright and colourful as the ice melts.
As they play, you might like to ask your child some questions like;
- How does the ice feel? What does it remind them of?
- What colours can they see?
- What can they see happening to the ice as they play?
- Why do they think the ice is melting?
- What could they do to make the ice melt more slowly, or more quickly?
When your child is finished playing with the ice, pour the melted ice water into the sink. Blot the poster board with kitchen paper/paper towel to remove excess liquid.
Hang the art work to dry.