Ice is great fun to play with, easy to make and there is so many wonderful and different things you can do with it.
Our new favourite thing is making rainbow ice and colourful ice cube building blocks (*reccomended by some lovely people from the loose parts play group) 💙💚💛🧡❤ There are many different ways to build and play and they also are fun to slide around on the tray as they melt.
All you need to make these are some yogurt pots or an ice cube tray (silicone molds would also work great), water, food colouring and a freezer.
The rainbow ice block takes a little bit of patience as you have to freeze each layer of colour one after the other but it’s worth the time and effort.
Another of our favourite activities is melting ice with salt and hot water. Sometimes if you get it just right you can hear and see the large blocks of ice cracking and popping.
We also froze some of our insect toys in one of the blocks of ice, so we could find and free them by melting the ice with salt and hot water
If your feeling a bit more adventurous then you can try freezing toys like dinosaurs in ice, then let the children loose with hammers and tools to break them free. Safety note: Be careful to supervise and taken precautions so they don’t break any of the toys or thier fingers in the process. I highly reccomend doing this outdoors on soft ground.
You can also use a balloon to make dinosaurs ice eggs. Carefully push the dinosaur through the neck of the balloon. Then stretch the neck over a tap and hold it firmly in place wholst you fill the balloons with water.
Freeze the water filled balloon overnight. When your egg is fully froze you can cut and peel the balloon off.
Now you have an icy dinosaur egg you can have fun hatching or rescuing the dinosuar trapped within. Either by pouring warm water over the surface till the ice melts enough to free it, or by putting the egg in a bowl of warm water.
Another idea is to to go on a nature hunt outdoors, exploring and looking for natural materials like flowers and leaves to freeze in trays or bowls of water. If you also freeze a loop of string at the top you can make ice decorations to hang up outside.
If you like science experiments then how about trying to freeze bicarbonate of soda mixed with food colouring and a very tiny amount of water. When you then drip an acid like vinegar or lemon juice onto the frozen bicarbonate of soda (which is an alkaline) you will get a chemical reaction that makes them bubble and fizz.
How about using ice in role play to create little Arctic or Antarctic landscapes you can then talk about the differences in landscapes and the animals that live there.
And last but not least how about using ice cubes to build an igloo (click to find the handy how to guide here.)