Ice Cube Painting

Ice cube painting is a great all ages activity. It’s one of those easy indoor activities that takes minimal supplies and set up, and big kids can definitely help you prepare it.

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My oldest kiddo loves art. He loves coloring, creating, drawing, painting, sensory activities. He loves it all. I am hoping he shares that love with his sister. So we decided to do an art activity that both kids can do.

I used to love doing this ice cube painting activity with my preschoolers. It is a multi-level activity, being that we work on skills when we get the activity ready together (one of my favorite types of activities) and then we work on patience to wait for the water to freeze, and then we do the activity.

We started out with my trusty silicone candy mold. I love using this thing. I used it when I made my garbage disposal tabs, too. But I don’t use it for food. That’s like cross contamination!

We set up on the floor (the best work space, in my opinion) with the candy mold, some water in a measuring cup with a spout, craft sticks, aluminum foil, food coloring and a baking sheet.

Fill up the molds with the water – as much as you want to fill them. We did about 3/4 of the way full. If your kids are older than mine, they can pour it themselves, but Dylan still hasn’t mastered that dexterity and hand eye coordination yet. If you’re using the silicone pan, make sure it’s on a cookie sheet for easy transportation to the freezer.

Next, drop food coloring into the water. We did lots of different strengths and colors for each cavity. We mixed colors (we’re working on primary and secondary colors right now) and talked about which primary colors make which secondary colors.

Unfortunately for Reagan, she was pinned down in her little car for the set up of this activity. Sorry girl. Didn’t want another mess to clean up.

Obviously she was very upset about this.

After you have mixed the colors (you can use a craft stick or toothpick to mix them), wrap aluminum foil around the top of the mold. Take a toothpick (or sharp knife) and poke a small hold into each cavity. Take your craft sticks and place them carefully into the hole. They may not stand up totally, but make sure they are somewhat straight before you put the mold into the freezer.

Let them freeze until solid. Pop them out and give your little one a piece of paper. As they “paint,” and as the ice melts, it will leave a trail on the paper.

This is good for babies, too because it’s alright if they put it in their mouths. It’s just water and food coloring. I gave Reagan her pacifier during this though. She was in one of those moods.

I think people forget that activities like this ice cube painting work on more than just painting. Reagan is working on her grasp, hand eye coordination, throwing skills (much to my dismay), so many things.

Dylan actually took it upon himself to finger paint with it also. He discovered that if you dip your finger onto the ice, you can paint with your finger. 9 times out of 10 he finds other things to do with an activity. I love that about him!

He also really liked using 3 and 4 at a time.

This ice cube painting is a kind of project that is truly about the process, not the end product.

Do your kiddos like painting? Check out this post – 50 household items your kids can use as paint brushes.

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