Ice play ~ Simple Play :: complex learning

For day two of our Simple Play :: complex learning series, we’re looking at ice play. It’s a great contrast to yesterday’s water play ideas and offers the opportunity for lots of exploring and discovering.

Exploring ice: hands-on science for kids.

Simple Play :: Ice Play

Playing with ice is another great sensory experience that’s cheap, easy to set up, but lots of fun. If you played with water yesterday, ice play is a great follow-on activity, as it uses they same basic material but is a totally different experience. Your children can make connections between what they used yesterday, but begin to ponder, question and understand how the process of freezing changes things completely.

With this simple play we’re looking at complex learning around sensory play, cause and effect and science.

Here’s how my girls chose to play with their ice, with some extra ideas to try at the end.

kids science ice experiments

Ice block art with coloured salt

To prepare for this play session, we filled some plastic containers with water and popped them in the freezer overnight. We used quite big, rectangular containers as we wanted to make big blocks of ice we could use as a ‘canvass’ to ‘paint’ on.

ice experiments

We set out our ice blocks on baking trays sat on towels, ready to catch any drips. To create some art, we used coloured salt to paint, decorate and transform the ice (click through to see how to make colored salt).

art with ice sculpture

Complex learning through simple play

My girls have played with colored ice blocks and plain salt before, so this was an extension for them – using similar materials, in reverse, allows them to get a better understanding of the materials. They can follow up ideas from their last play time, becoming better ice experts, deepening their knowledge of this scientific process.

winter science for kids

As they play they have the opportunity to explore:

:: the science of freezing and melting

:: the effect of the addition of salt

ice play ice art

:: the creative expression of creating colourful art

:: the sensory nature of the cold and wet and crunchy materials

Lots of ice play and frozen activities - great for sensory play and hands-on learning

More ideas for ice play

1. Put the color in the water itself and play with ice art blocks.

2. Build a Frozen ice palace.

3. Add ice to your sensory tub.

4. Play frozen math games.

5. Make some ice boats.

6. Go on a frozen treasure hunt.

7. Add colored ice cubes to your bath.

8. Go ice fishing.

9. Make a frozen small world North Pole.

10. Make some ice lollies!

 A month of simple play activities

Are you playing along? Come and join the community!

Are you joining in with the Simple Play :: complex learning series? It’s running all month long and we would love you to join in.  Come and say hi on our Facebook page and tell us what your children have enjoyed today. 

super sensory footerSuper Sensory Invitations to Play

Ready for a whole year of exploring through the senses? Super Sensory Invitations to Play is a delightful resource that encourages your children to explore the five senses through the year, using a wide variety of sensory materials. It includes 52 invitations to play, linked to the festivals and seasons of the year, and including water, ice, dough, rice, paints, sand, sensory tubs, and more.

They are easy, simple, and fun ideas that you can use right now to give a multi-sensory boost to your play and learning. It comes with a printable recipe book featuring all our favourite recipes for play. Come and see more here.


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