Ice Sensory Play for Toddlers

7:13:00 AM

Toddlers love sensory play! When they are between 2 and 4 years old is when they are most curious about their senses. It's the age of exploring and nothing can stop them, not even the heat of summer. So what's the best sensory play for a hot summer's day?

Ice ICE, Baybeh!
My son got mildly addicted to ice cubes when he realized they slid off his fingers despite his herculean grip. Surpriiiise, haha...he really was ecstatic about that discovery, so much he'd grab the ice from my drinks since.

I mentioned ice sensory play on my June post: Toddler's Guide to Beating the Heat. So how to make Ice for Play? I'm sure you already have an idea now, but to make sure we're on the same page, here's how we made Ice for Sensory Play:

Colored Ice Cubes
The first thing I tried to entertain my Nimmy with ice is to simply color the ice cubes. It's pretty darn simple, but to be safe and toddler-friendly, I used food color instead of water color or any other colorant.
It's the best way to make colored ice cubes if your kid tends to "taste-test" his toys. So food color = safe & edible.

Flavored/ Edible Ice Cubes
If you plan on letting your child go all-out on this ice sensory play you can make ice popsicles or flavored ice, which is basically frozen juice in a cube tray.
I tried this once using a star-mold tray and a sachet of Eight O'Clock, orange flavor. My son didn't taste it, even though I put emphasis on the fact that it's juice and it tasted sweet. He had that look in his eyes that said, "Ew, mom. I'm not licking that, you held that."
 I lost that photo in particular, so here's one of my son trying to be a musician instead. son thought I was trying to feed him "play things" and he proceeded to play with them til they melted and stained his grandmother's carpet. Yeay for me. . . I tasted those darn ice cubes they tasted great!... should've made some for my own.

The Hand of Els--I mean, Ice Hands!
This one is so benta (considered sold) for Miggy. I saw this online on either Kids' Activities Blog or Happy Hooligans. Honestly, I couldn't wait to try it when I saw it and when we did do it, well... I enjoyed it most, haha!
 So the key to making this is Latex Gloves, think gloves for dishwashing, if not surgical gloves. You can use plastic gloves but sometimes they stick to the ice so it's difficult to remove them, plus I prefer "re-usables" or items on sale.

What makes this particular ice sensory play fun is that you get to watch it melt and control where it melts, using salt. It's also a great experiment for slightly older kids about chemistry and...stuff. Sorry, I don't know what you call the reaction between salt and ice.
In my son's case though, he found that cars in melted ice more enjoyable. Nevertheless, he got to touch and feel melting ice and experiment on how his toy cars can "swim" through the obstacles. So, let toss in a few "abubots" or trinkets for your kids to play with on ice.

This is one of the ways our Toddler beat the Heat this summer. So, if you want your kid to stay cool, try this activity!

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  1. This is too fun to make! What a clever idea to make colored ice.

  2. You're not supposed to eat the frozen hands, right? Oh my, it looks scary. I guess didn't try that sensory play with my daughter, but I'm glad she know the difference between hot and cold already. LOL! She does the ice cube activity though but with real foods that will serve as a fruit snack. :D

  3. this is interesting way of making sure that even though they play its all safe and you now what kind of ingredients in it because you made it.

  4. We love ice sensory plays. Have yet to do this coloured version though, great idea!

  5. Awww! What a fun idea for your son and any toddler to get their hands dirty and explore.

  6. This is so fun I bet even the adult had a blast supervising their kiddos in making this colorful ice cubes :) are they the same like ice candy? Can you eat them?


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