Ice is a fascinating and versatile medium that can captivate the imaginations of preschoolers. It not only provides hours of fun, but also offers numerous learning opportunities from sensory exploration to science experiments.
Paired with the right tools, it can also help children develop their fine motor skills and enhance their cognitive abilities. With temperatures rising, let’s explore a variety of cool activities with ice to help your kids beat the heat this summer.
Delightful Sensory Play Activities With Ice
Ice activity 1: Frozen Pom Poms Ice Excavation
Offer a refreshing twist to a fun excavating activity by getting your child to release pom poms from a block of ice.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A container to fill up with pom poms such as empty ice cream tubs, bowls or even a muffin tray
- Colourful pom poms
- A spray bottle
- A large tray
- Lots of water
Fill up your empty containers with pom poms, and top it up with water to freeze overnight. When you’re ready, put the frozen blocks of ice onto a tray with a spray bottle filled with warm water for your child to free the pom poms.
Squeezing the trigger on a spray bottle requires the use of finger muscles, promoting the development of fine motor skills. Besides a spray bottle, you may also use other tools such as a squeeze bottle, an eye dropper or even just spoons and warm water to melt the ice. Let your preschooler get creative while learning the concept of patience and problem-solving when releasing the pom poms.
Quick tip: When you’re all done with the activity, gather all the pom poms into a laundry bag and toss it into the dryer to dry! No dryer? The spin function works just as well on your washing machine.
Ice Activity 2: Ice Bin Transfer Activity (Busy Toddler)
Want something quick and easy to get you to nap time? This ice bin transfer is super easy to set up, yet promises to keep your child entertained for a good amount of time.
Ice activity 3: Ice Skating Penguin Small World (Messy Little Monster)
Use your penguin mini figures (or any other types, I’m sure your kids wouldn’t mind) and make a skating rink small world for your kids to explore. They’ll have fun skating penguins around their own DIY ice rink while discovering that ice will melt.
Ice activity 4: Frozen Water Bead Ice Pods (Days with Grey)
Are you Team Water Bead or Team NOPE? If you do not like having water beads scattered everywhere, you might love this activity. Freezing water beads will help keep them contained for the majority of the activity, so you’ll still have your sanity in check while your kids have fun!
Creative Art Activities with Ice
Ice Activity 5: Painting on Ice
Painting on ice combines art and science while adding a cool twist. Through this activity, your preschooler will be able to explore different textures, observe colour mixing, and witness the transformation of ice as it melts. Here's how you can set up a painting on ice activity easily:
Materials you’ll need:
- Ice cubes or ice blocks
- Paint in various colours
- Paintbrushes or eye droppers
- A tray to hold your ice
Set up your ice canvas by simply pouring ice cubes or an ice block onto a tray. Then, let your child get creative by painting and mixing colours on the icy surface. While your child paints, you can encourage them to observe the changes happening to the ice. Engage them in discussions about how the paint interacts with the cold surface, how it spreads and mixes, and how it gradually melts the ice.
Quick tip: Extend the play further by offering some figurines when the painted ice has melted. The icy texture will provide a cool sensory experience for them while they play.
Related: Having fun exploring color? Then be sure to try this Handprint Colour Mixing Activity.
Ice activity 6: Ice Painting Fun for Kids (Learning and Exploring Through Play)
Explore a different technique of painting with ice painting. It’s perfect for toddlers and offers a sensory rich experience of colour mixing and textures.
Cool Science Activities with Ice
Ice activity 7: Ice Fishing (Happy Tot Shelf)
Challenge your kids to a fun icy game and see who picks up the most ice cubes as possible using just a string. It’s easy enough for a preschooler, while stimulating enough for your big kid too.
Ice activity 8: Preschool Science Fun With Ice Castles (Fun-A-Day)
For kids who love the movie “Frozen”, this wintery activity will surely be a hit. The addition of fairy “bling” adds an extra element of fun to capture the attention of your little ones.
Ice activity 9: Ice Boats Water Play (Learning 4 Kids)
Turn ice blocks into boats with just a few simple materials. This wonderful activity can help promote lots of science related discussions such as ice and water; floating and sinking; as well as liquid and solids.
Ice activity 10: Frozen Oobleck Sensory Play (Learning and Exploring Through Play)
Give your Oobleck sensory play an icy cool twist with this activity. Freeze it in moulds and let your child discover the amazing texture of oobleck as it melts.
A safety note about conducting activities with ice
Ensure the safety of children during ice play by providing supervision and preventing prolonged contact with ice on bare skin. It is important to note that ice poses a choking hazard, so it is advisable to avoid ice play with young children who tend to put things in their mouths. Prioritise the well-being of children while enjoying ice-related activities.
Questions about ice activities and play
Ice cube play provides valuable benefits for children's development. It stimulates their senses, enhances fine motor skills, boosts problem-solving and creativity and encourages social interaction when children gather to engage in these fun ice activities!
Yes, ice is a form of sensory play. Sensory play refers to activities that engage and stimulate the five senses. Interacting with ice cubes provides a unique sensory experience as children can feel the coldness and observe changes in texture and shape.
Ice offers endless possibilities for games and activities, such as ice excavation, ice painting, ice sensory bins, building an ice castle and more. Find more cool activities with ice in this article and let the icy fun begin!
Which ice activity will you try this summer?
Explore some of these fun activities with ice in this list that will keep kids entertained while providing a cool respite from the sweltering sun. From sensory play to scientific explorations, the frosty play possibilities are endless!
If you're looking for more fun activities this summer, make this Pool Noodle Fishing Game and let your children play outdoors! Or if it gets too hot, stay indoors with this Shape Sorting Suncatcher and let your toddler explore colours and shapes.