Welcome to our ice unit! Over five days we’re exploring ice through sensory play, science, art, and storytelling.
Five days of ice activities
NurtureStore hosts regular themed weeks of creative learning activities, giving you ideas, lesson plans, and printables all year round.
This week our focus is on ice: how to make it, how to build with it, how to experiment with it. It’s such a simple material but there is lots of complex learning to be developed.
You might like to pick just one of these ideas to enjoy or offer all five over the course of your week.
It’s such an advantage to give children time to work on a theme.
A themed-week lets children make connections between one idea and another, one material and another, one experience and another.
With a range of linked activities, children are able to compare and contrast, see how things are the same and what’s different – young scientists and creatives in the making.
Coming back to a theme over consecutive days gives time and space for ideas to brew, and the repetition helps children find depth and meaning.
*For most of this week’s activities you might like to prep ahead the day before, so you ice is frozen and ready to go each day. If it’s cold enough, it’s very interesting for children to see how nature will freeze water left outdoors.
Day One :: ice blocks
On day one of our ice unit, let’s build with ice. Fill a variety of small plastic containers with water and food colouring and freeze the blocks. Then pop your ice blocks out of the containers and see what you can build with them.
Alternatively, help things escape from inside an ice block.
Day Two :: ice caves
On day two of our ice week, in contrast to yesterday when we used ice blocks to build up structures, today let’s explore how we can make shapes into ice.
This is a fascinating and beautiful combination of science and art.
Day Three :: frozen paints
On day three, instead of freezing plain water, let’s freeze paint!
Follow these ice paint instructions and then use your paint-pops to make pictures. Use foil rather than paper to paint on, for an extra-sensory experience.
This is a great way to explore the science of colour mixing too. Freeze primary coloured paint (red, blue, and yellow) and watch how they combine as they melt to make green, orange, and purple. You can use my colour wheel alongside your experiment to develop this concept.
Day Four :: water play
So far in our week of ice activities we’ve been exploring how water turns into ice and how ice turns into water. Today, let’s combine the two and enjoy water play with ice cubes.
You could add relaxing ice cubes to your bath time.
Day Five :: ice sheet
For the final day of our week of ice activities, let’s prepare a sheet of ice for an art adventure or storytelling play.
Fill a baking sheet with water and freeze to make an icy canvass.
You can use the ice sheet for a polar small world, which is great for developing imagination, language, and storytelling.
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