It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, colored ice is always a hit with kids. But in summertime, a water bin filled with colored ice cubes is just the best for cooling sensory play for kids of all ages.
It’s perfect for keeping the kids cool and refreshed on a hot, summer day!
Summer is awesome and so are the fun summer activities to keep your kids cool and having fun in the backyard!
One of our favorite ways to pass a warm summer morning is to make colored ice cubes and add them to a big bucket of cold water.
It keeps everyone cool, and it’s so much fun to scoop, pour, mix and stir while the ice cubes slowly release their color into the water.
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Ice Play with Colored Ice Cubes
Thrift shops and second-hand stores are great places for picking up ice cube trays in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Popsicle molds and small, shaped plastic containers are super for this too.
How to Make Colored Ice
It’s best to start freezing your ice several days in advance so you’ll have lots on hand for your activity.
I fill several ice cube trays and small plastic containers with water, add a drop or two of food colouring to each section, and load them all onto a baking sheet.
I place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until solid which usually takes about 8 hours.
I transfer the colored cubes into a plastic bag which stays in the freezer, and I begin again.
Repeat Until You Have As Many Colored Ice Cubes as You Desire
I’ll do this over and over until I’ve accumulated a supply of several hundred colored ice cubes. This way, the kids can enjoy a whole morning of play!
Ice Play Sensory Activity
When we’re ready to play I take a large, clear storage bin out to a shady area of the yard and I fill it with very cold water.
The colder your water is, the longer your ice cubes will last. The colored ice cubes will make the water even colder.
You’ll be surprised at how long the ice will last, even on a hot day.
I set the kids up with all kinds of kitchen utensils and instruments: large and small bowls for scooping the ice into, ladles, sieves, tongs, wooden spoons etc.
Anything goes really.
I just rummage through my kitchen drawers and cupboards until I’ve come up with a wide variety of instruments for them to play and experiment with.
Let’s Play with Colored Ice Cubes
Dump in a batch of ice, and let the fun begin!
My guys can spend an entire morning playing with an activity bin like this.
They scoop, they pour, they strain, they sort.
The mix potions and they make soups, ladling out bowls for everyone and pouring their concoctions from one container to the next.
It’s fun to watch the colour leach out of the ice cubes and colour the water as they play.
Hours of splashing, exploring and learning. What a wonderful way to spend a hot summer morning.
You may even get a chance to sit back and put your feet up while your kids are kept cool and happy!
If you’re looking for another great way to play with colored ice, check out our ice painting activity! That’s another one you’ll want to try this summer!
- ice cube trays
- Baking sheet
- Plastic storage bags
- Fill ice cube trays with water and add a drop or two of desired food coloring to each ice cube.
- Load the ice cube trays on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 8 hours or until frozen solid.
- Remove from ice cube trays and put into plastic storage bags.
- Repeat with the now empty ice cube trays.
More Ice Fun from Kids Activities Blog
Did your kids love the colored ice cubes? Is this one of their favorite ways of ice play?