Such a cool idea from Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day today. Read on to see how you can make icy numbers and enjoy these sensory math play ideas.
Icy numbers sensory math play
Magic Fun Math lessons!
Fun Math is an easy to teach, highly effective math curriculum based on play and hands-on learning.
All the lessons are designed to be fun and memorable, so children enjoy their lessons and feel confident.
The lessons are easy for teachers and parents to use, in class or at home.
These are the magic lessons where children really see, understand, and can apply math concepts. They are especially suited to children who don’t like math, lack confidence, don’t understand math the way they are currently being taught, or just want to play.
We love hands-on math activities around here, and these colorful icy letters definitely fit the bill. They were inspired by our name ice melting activity, but obviously with a math twist.
This page contains affiliate links from which we earn commission.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Making the icy numbers
We have so very many ice cube trays at my house, and very few are used for ice to go into our glasses! One of these lovely trays is full of numbers. We grabbed that one, added water to the numbers, and then put in a tiny dash of liquid watercolors. The tray went into the freezer for a couple of hours before we could get our hands on the icy numbers.
Adding magnetic or wooden numbers to regular ice trays would work wonderfully, too!
How to use the icy letters
One of the benefits of hands-on activities with kids is observing how the children interact with the materials. Here are just a few ideas for these icy numbers –
Arrange the numbers in numerical order.
Manipulate the numbers to create new numbers (put 2 and 3 together to make 23, for example).
Play a simple dice game with the numbers. One player rolls the die and uses a dropper to squeeze the appropriate number of water drops onto her number. Then it’s on to the next player. The person who melts her number first is the winner!
Add salt to the icy numbers and explore how long it takes them to melt with this addition. Engage the children in a discussion about other ways to melt the numbers. Observe which numbers melt fastest!
Build a tower using the numbers. How high can the tower get?
These icy numbers are incredibly simple to make, but so much learning can take place using them! Children can practice counting, number identification, and one-to-one correspondence. Additionally, the kiddos will be exploring with their senses (sight and touch, primarily) and touching on basic science concepts. All with just a few bits of ice!
Mary Catherine is mama to 1, pre-k teacher to many, and the force behind Fun-A-Day! Be sure to sign up for her newsletter and grab a free copy of her printable Book of Structures from Around the World.
Transform your teaching with Fun Math
The Fun Math series gives you a math curriculum that is easy to teach and highly effective.
Children love these lessons because they are engaging and fun.
You'll have a clear set of ready-made math lessons and activities that are simple to lead using our step-by-step lesson guides, and which children really understand.
Be the best math teacher and boost your children's confidence and skills with Fun Math.