It’s hot today… so hot… And when it’s hot, or even when it’s not, one of my standby, easy sensory play activities is ice play.
It doesn’t need to be a hot summers day to enjoy this easy sensory play idea.
Ice is a fun, free, and awesome sensory play item. You can simple add ice blocks to a bowl, tub, or water table, or you can try this easy sensory play idea.
The only thing you need for this activity is a little forward thinking, some containers, some water, and some fun things to freeze into ice blocks.
Twenty Fun Things to Freeze in Ice Blocks
I set my big kids a challenge to come up with a list of things we could freeze into ice blocks. They spent the morning looking for small treasures we could freeze and writing lists. Here is the list of ideas they came up with.
- glass/plastic gems
- small plastic animals/dinosaurs
- lego men or pieces of lego
- pipe cleaners
- herbs – mint and rosemary smell nice
- scraps of paper
- lost marker lids
- curling ribbon
- grass clippings
- fabric scraps
- bottle caps
- googly eyes
We used recycled yoghurt containers and other small storage containers to freeze our treasures. And once they are all frozen you get to play!
Dump your ice treasures into a big tub (we use a cheap under bed storage container), add some scoops, eye droppers or small containers, and a little water to help get things melting.
Everyone loved pouring water over the treasures and watching them slowly emerge from the ice.
You could also add a hammer and screwdriver for bigger kids to chip away at the ice.
Please be aware that some of these items are very small when they melt out of the ice blocks and may not be suitable for children who still put things in their mouths.
What cool freezable things would you add to our list??
If you are looking for some more easy sensory play ideas, try one of these…
Or check out this article for even more easy sensory play ideas.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
What a FABULOUS and very simple idea. Perfect for these hot days.
Debsch @ Cloth Books for Baby says
“What cool freezable things would you add to our list?”
Mummy’s credit card if it is maxed out with debt!!
(I don’t own one but I’ve heard that this is a good way to stop impulse purchases.)
This was brilliant! One kid went and collected outside things, the other inside things. We then looked at what floated and what sunk as we out the water in the tray. Then, as they watched the ice melt, we separated some and added sprinkled salt over them to see how they salt made them melt faster. They then watched and realised that all of the items they had frozen that had salt in them … The sand, the shell, the playdough … All melted more quickly than the other things. Also they noticed the bigger things melted quicker than the smaller things, because there was less water that fit into the cube. What a sensational science lesson that captivated our morning and late arvo. Thanks!!!
Debs- Learn with Play at Home says
Love this! Great idea to challenge the kids to set about finding the things to freeze. We’ve been doing things with ice lately too so we’ll have to give this a go. thanks!
For kids who put things in mouth what would u suggest to freeze instead?
For kids who still put things in their mouths just make bigger ice blocks and freeze items that are not small enough to be a choking hazard. So larger plastic animals, large pom poms, duplo blocks, big stones and gems…
Emma @ P is for Preschooler says
I had never thought to freeze things like this, but what a great idea! Keeping this one in mind for the hot summer! We’re going to have the coolest ice in the neighborhood! lol!
This is a COOL idea!
I literally just finished shoving three large old ice cream tubs into my freezers, full of sea creatures and dinos turning into ice blocks for the kids to hack away at tomorrow when it’s boiling hot again. I am so going to do this next! Maybe get them to help me collect things from aroind the yard…
Ashley Hoober says
Our cooling system gave out during a heat wave last year (Thats texas for ya) and my kids and I were playing with ice. I will certainly keep this idea in the back pocket
Nina Javez says
Brilliant idea for daycares that go on outings to the park on hot days, just pack up a cooler of sand toys in ice
Such a great idea. It\’s been a brutal summer in Australia and this is a perfect activity.for the kids in the heat. Thanks for the inspiration!