Ice Painting

It was hot here last week, and as I was filling the ice block trays for the eleventy hundredth time a little idea popped into my head.

I got out the food colouring and dropped some colour into each ice block, then popped them in the freezer.

The next day we donned aprons, found paper and popped the ice cubes out onto a plate. I wasn’t sure if it would actually work. I didn’t know if there was enough colour in the ice to make much of an impression on the paper, or if the ice would melt and all the moisture would just make the paper mushy and holey, but even if it didn’t work I figured it would be a fun thing to do on a hot day.

But wow did it ever work!

easy art for kids - ice painting

I did put lots of colour in, and we used thicker than average paper, and as we swirled around the melting ice blocks the colours mixed and lots and lots of art was made.

easy art for kids ice painting

It was rather messy with all the food colouring and our fingers were stained for the next few days, but it was worth it, and doing it outside without many clothes on would be a great way to minimise the mess.

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    Great idea – I have such an aversion to messy play, but oh! how the kiddos just love it!! I really should embrace it more often (perhaps I should just shut my eyes!!)

    • katef says

      I think it is quite reasonable to have an aversion to messy stuff.

      I find I am much more ok with messy art if I am joining is as well, but I still try to limit the clean up as much as possible. Things like always having something near by to wipe hands and spills works well, as does corralling smalls in a high chair so they can’t trail paint all around the house.

      If all else fails, outside in the nude works well for me!

  2. says

    Love it! Have just filled the iceblock moulds now after reading this- am thinking next week when the hot weather hits us again I’ll take the cherubs outside, get them to nude up, and then at the end squirt them with the hose- thanks to last week our tanks are completely full.

    • katef says

      AH yes the joys of not having to worry about water! We often invite our ‘city’ friends to come out and play under the sprinkler – they are still not allowed to with their water restrictions but we can!

      Have fun!

  3. says

    Love this so much. And I’m sure my kids would love the novelty of playing with ice in this way. What a great sensory experience!

    • katef says

      yeah it stained our fingers pretty bad. It doesn’t wash off when you try to wash it then and there but it was gone by the following night’s bath just with general hand washing during the day.
      You could try using less colour, or maybe try adding washable painting instead of dye?

      • says

        If you rub sorbolene cream on your hands before you start, it stops most of the food colouring from going onto your skin :)

  4. Beatriz Legorreta says

    I would like very much to recieve your ideas, because I am a Montessori guide and I do love children very much. Thank you for the idea of painting with ice! I will do it with the kids!

  5. says

    This is a brilliant idea! Totally going to use it :) Also,thanks to Susan from the Book Chook I’m linking this up as a Featured Post on AMB for next week.

  6. Jo says

    Hi! Great idea :D I was just wondering if your ice cube trays got stained at all/much. Thanks!

    • katef says

      While I did need to scrub to get some colouring out of the ice cube trays I don’t think it has left a stain – mind you, our ice cube trays are bright blue so it’s kinda hard to tell. But I figure it’s food colouring so if by chance our next lot of ice blocks have a slight pink tinge it won’t kill anyone :)

  7. little-e says

    For those who cant handle the mess you could always insert a craft stick once the cubes are half set wrap the tray with plastic wrap and push the sticks in- tahdah ice cube “brushes”