The weather is hotting up here and the kiddos are having fun playing in the water table. I thought it would be a fun twist to add some ice into their water play sessions, so I set off to find some inspiration.
And wow was I inspired by my fellow super moms!
I ended up with a list of ice activities for toddlers and preschoolers so long that I decided I should share them here so your kids could enjoy them too.
Ice activities for toddlers and preschoolers
“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.” – Picklebums
“I thought I would use some ordinary food storage containers to mold mini oceans. Again I froze our items in layers so that there would be lots of fun things to unfreeze. Each layer, I added a different color to go along with the ocean. Ours turned out a bit greener than I thought!” – Little Bins for Little Hands
“We love science and sensory play! This frozen dinosaur egg activity is easy to make and lots of fun to excavate. This type of frozen sensory play also makes great science discovery and learning activities for young children. Check out more about ” – Little Bins for Little Hands
“Do your kids love science? Even the simplest of experiments can be exciting activities of discovery and this ice experiment falls into that category. It’s very simple to put together, but also a lot of fun for kids to explore. ” – Inner Child Fun
“Melting ice with salt and then adding liquid watercolors is a simple kids’ science experiment that we’ve done before. But sometimes you have to try something more than once to really get it right. Last time our melting ice science experiment was so much of a salt and watercolor free-for-all that we couldn’t see what was happening to the ice under all the salt. This time we got it right. And it truly is a beautiful and fun learning experience.” – Artful Parent
“One of the best things about all of these activities with ice, is that they address all seven senses. Whether you have a child with sensory processing or not, sensory play is a vital part of child development. Sometimes coming up with ideas to ignite each sense can be tricky. Hopefully, this list of ideas for one bag of ice will help you see how simple sensory play can be!” – Lemon Lime Adventures
“This activity makes a great Summer Science experiment. We revisited our oil and water experiments, only this time we froze the water and experimented with oil & ice.” – Growing a Jeweled Rose
“My kids had a ball treasure hunting and were able to stay cool in the process. I made a separate ice block for each of my children with age appropriate toys in each. This activity kept them busy for over an hour, which is saying a lot for three boys under the age of nine. I have a feeling we will be trying this again later this summer.” – Macaroni Kid
“One sure way to get kids loving Science is to make it GLOW! I have had so much fun creating fun ” – Growing a Jeweled Rose
“Here at Mama OT I like to feature household items that can be used to promote your child’s development, and today I am excited to share how an ice cube tray can be used to help develop fine motor skills!” – Mama OT
“We have had some wonderfully hot weather this week and our play has been mainly outside from breakfast to bedtime. To help cool down we had a go at the simplest of scientific experiments, turning water into ice and then back again to water!” – The Imagination Tree
“If your kids are into science activities, this will be a hit whether they’re frozen fans or not. Colouring the water, freezing the ice and then building with it will be a thrill for any little budding engineer.” – Happy Hooligans
“Food coloring can stain hands a bit, but we didn’t really care. If you do, you can always use a tool to move the ice around or let your child use plastic gloves. We made sure to cover any surfaces nearby that we didn’t want to get food coloring on.” – Toddler Approved
“We love to play with ice and so we made Kool-Aid ice balls. Fun for summer play and a great way to stay cool.” – Mommas Fun World
“You are an Archeologist. You are looking for fragile fossils. You come across something interesting in a glacier and you want to explore more. How are you going to excavate the fossil? What tools are you going to use Remember: Fossils are very old and very fragile” – Lemon Lime Adventures
“This was something new for us, Rainbow Ice Cube Painting. I froze LIQUID WATERCOLORS (filled the trays with water first, then added watercolors & stirred) overnight. I knew it was going to be hot day so the plan was to do this activity outside. I’ve seen this activity done plenty on paper but I wanted to try fabric.” – Things to Share and Remember
“Melting Elsa’s Frozen Hands activity: It’s a blast whether you’re a “Frozen fan” or not! It’s a great science experiment for kids, and you likely have most or all of the supplies around your home!” – Happy Hooligans
” We delved into some PIRATE SCIENCE with Exploding Treasure Chests!! It was a great sensory experience as the solid, freezing cold chests turned to mush and exposed the treasures hidden within.” – Reading Confetti
“We delved into some PIRATE SCIENCE with Exploding Treasure Chests!! It was a great sensory experience as the solid, freezing cold chests turned to mush and exposed the treasures hidden within.” – Fun a Day
“When it comes to simple science activities, ice and salt and water are always a huge hit! Simple water play activities always captivates my daycare hooligans for hours, and this one is a always a favourite. I’ve been itching for the weather to warm up so we could do it again,.” – Happy Hooligans
“We have a small ice cream machine, but it’s not a very hands on way to explore the science of making ice cream so we decided to make the bag version. After we were done my 6 year old declared, ‘This is the best science experiment ever!’ It certainly is the most delicious.” – What Do We Do All Day
“I thought I’d combine our love of painting by making some frozen paint cubes for the kids to paint with. I wasn’t actually sure how well it’d all turn out, but the results speak for themselves. I’ve since tested it with a variety of different paints and found that whilst the results vary, they all provide a fun, sensory and unique painting experience.” – Learn With Play at Home
“One of the most simple sensory play ideas for summer is playing with colored ice.” – Learn Play Imagine
24. Ice Age Bin
“We have done this salt and ice and water activity so many times over the years, and each time we change things up a little so it’s new and exciting each time! Our ice age bin will cost you nothing to put together, and, it will keep your little ones busy for a good, long time!” – Happy Hooligans
“This activity gets quite addictive. We mix colors and experiment until all the ice melts… and then either we start it all over again or we take a break and plan to do it again later in the day. It is amazing how fascinating ice can be once you add baking soda and vinegar. ” – Toddler Approved
26. Ice Chalk
“Ice Chalk is the perfect kid activity for a hot summer day. Frozen chalk makes a great art, science, and sensory experience all in one.” – Reading Confetti
“This sort of ‘buried treasure’ ice play has been on my mental to do list forever, and I knew it would be the perfect way to slow things down a little and allow the munchkins to really become invested in their play.” – Mama Papa Bubba
If you enjoyed this collection of ice activities for toddlers why not check out our other activities for toddlers including our farm activities for toddlers or our collection of water table activities.
~Clare – currently pinning to Fun Toddler Activities.