Friday, August 3, 2012

Colored Ice Play

This has been a very hot summer for many places, luckily for us, the pacific northwest was not one of those places. We have had a very mild summer, gloomier and rainier than usual. We have had some hot days, and on those days it is hard to escape the heat because we don't have air conditioning! In fact, most people around here don't. I was dreading the weather on our trip to the southeast (it was over 100 degrees some days during our visit) but the miracle of a/c made it more bearable than our mild northwest summer. On the hot days, I have tried to do activities to help keep us cool. One item that Zel had a lot of fun with was colored ice cubes. This is a super easy activity to prep. Just drop some food coloring into ice cube trays and add water then freeze. After the cubes were frozen, I put them in a bag so that I could reuse the ice trays. If you don't like to use food coloring you could also use juice, but your colors won't be as bright.

For our first experience, we did colored ice art. I gave Zel a piece of construction paper to draw on using the ice. He tried this at first but then experimented with the ice in many different ways.

We talked about how cold the ice was and how it melted from our warm hands. He said the word "ice" over and over then started morphing it into the word "eyes." So he put the ice on his eyes and on mommy's eyes. Then he tried the ice on as a hat too.

I told Zel that I hid an M&M inside one of the ice cubes. Then of course he tasted all of the ice cubes to try to find it!

Zel put all the ice cubes back in the bowl and started shaking it. Since he was using a metal bowl, it made a loud clanging noise which he absolutely loved.

I brought out a towel so that Zel didn't slip on any water and he used it to play peek-a-boo with the ice. Then he thought it was hilarious to hide the ice with his face.

Zel wanted to move out of the kitchen and began carrying the ice cubes into the living room by balancing them on his spoon. I loved this impromptu motor skills practice. I was very impressed about how few times he dropped the ice.

I had some colored ice left over, so I brought them out another day to entertain Zel while I exercised. I laid out a blanket in the living room and gave him some kitchen tools, a cup, bowl, baking sheet, and muffin tin.

Zel had a lot of fun moving the ice between the various containers. He filled the little cup, then placed one ice cube in each spot of the muffin tin.

While I was on vacation in South Carolina, I helped my mom with some babysitting. It was very hot there, so I thought the ice would be a perfect activity. My mother didn't have food coloring so we used apple juice, cranberry juice, blackberry juice, and coconut milk to make different colors. We set out a bunch of metal bowls, muffin tins, spoons, and tongs. The kids had a blast! They loved trying to use the tongs and of course sucking the juice out of the ice cubes. I gave the older kids some eye droppers and warm water and showed them that they could use it to melt the ice. 

Colored Ice is a great way to beat the heat and have fun learning about colors, numbers, and temperature!


  1. I love this - I froze some beet juice recently in a heart-shaped ice cube tray I got at ikea for 99 cents, now I'm even more excited to have my toddler and baby play with the ice cubes.

    1. We used that same heart tray at my mom's house! We also had butterflies, roses, and regular square cubes. I also use beet juice to color my homemade playdough.