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January 17, 2017

What better way for littlies to cool down in summer, than to get creative outside with a variety of coloured ice activities. Photography, Shona Dey. 

Ice play offers so many sensory pleasures for little ones - through colour, temperature and texture - and these activities are great for experimenting with simple scientific principles as well as exercising a little creative flair. 

Children will be amazed at the way the summer heat changes the ice from a solid block to a liquid, before it evaporates completely leaving only colour on the ground. 

We have created a range of fun activites for toddlers including ice chalk and paint for decorating paper or pavements, an ice ring filled with frozen treasures, some giant ice marbles for rolling and smashing and some cool ice shapes that fizz before their eyes. You could also freeze flowers and glitter or create a theme such as ‘under the ocea’ or a dinosaur dig.

Get involved by asking your little one questions such as, ‘What does the ice feel like? Why is it melting and getting smaller? How can you get the toys out?’


What we used

  • A variety of different shaped ice trays
  • Ring cake tin
  • Popsicle moulds
  • Food colouring
  • Paint
  • An assortment of small plastic toys to freeze in the ring
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Cornflour


Ice chalk and paint

For these we mixed equal amounts of cornflour and water together with a few drops of food colouring (or paint for ice paint) and froze them in popsicle moulds. We then let the littlies loose, drawing over the concrete, paper and a canvas. 

Treasures ice ring

We froze coloured water along with an assortment of “treasures” in a ring cake tin. We then hung this on a branch with a metal bowl underneath. As it began to melt the children swiped at it with spatulas and kitchen tongs to see if they could get any treasure out. Each time they heard an item fall into the bowl they rushed back to examine the treasure.

Giant ice marbles

We put a few drops of food colouring into balloons, then filled them with water. We then wrapped the balloons with tin foil to keep the round shape and froze them overnight. When the time came to play, we unwrapped the tinfoil and cut off the balloons giving the children the ice marbles which they rolled, smashed and kicked around.

Fizzing ice

To make fizzing ice, we used the ice chalk recipe but substituted baking soda for half the cornflour. We then gave the kids shakers and spray bottles filled with watered down vinegar and left them to discover the fizzing reaction. 

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