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.
Sensory play can be calming and help with self-regulation, especially for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities like autism and ADHD, 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?)
- 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
- Fill a glass or beaker with cold water
- Drop food colouring into the beaker. Food colouring can stain so we don’t recommend saturating the water TOO much!
- Pour from breaker, or use turkey baster, to fill the ice cube tray
- Repeat for different colours
- Fill the ice cube pockets with your small trinkets
- 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!