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Melting Coloured Ice Sensory Activity

This ice-melting sensory activity will feel super cool with the contrast of cold ice and warm water. Watching the colours melt into the warm water is also a satisfying sight to see! Your child will also feel different textures of the little trinkets frozen inside and exercise patience to melt the trinkets free.

Note: This activity uses food colouring and can stain hands for a couple of days. We recommend using a smock or old clothes, laying something down to act as a tarp, and as always, supervising your child as they play with small trinkets.

Learning Opportunities:

Sensory play can be calming and help with self-regulation, especially for children with developmental disabilities like autism, ADHD, or Down Syndrome can wake up children who have an under-responsive system, and many other benefits.

With this activity and a little creativity, you can teach concepts like:

  • Hypothesizing, testing, and drawing conclusions (i.e. will it sink or float?)
  • Counting
  • Colours
  • Vocabulary
  • Categorizing/sorting
  • Patience/delayed gratification


  • Ice cube tray
  • Cold and warm water
  • Drinking glass and/or shallow bin
  • Beaker or turkey baster to fill the ice cube tray
  • Small trinkets with different textures
  • Food colouring


  1. Fill a glass or beaker with cold water

  2. Drop food colouring into the beaker. Food colouring can stain so we don’t recommend saturating the water TOO much!

  3. Pour from breaker, or use turkey baster, to fill the ice cube tray

  4. Repeat for different colours

  5. Fill the ice cube pockets with your small trinkets

  6. Freeze the ice cube tray in the freezer (about 3-4 hours)

Ways to play:

  • Fill a drinking glass with warm water. Pop the ice cubes out and stir the ice cubes into it. Wait and watch as trinkets come free. 

  • Fill a shallow bin with warm water. Pop the ice cubes out and place into the bin. Watch as the colours begin to melt and fill the water!



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