Color Mixing with Ice

When I was pulling up the old activities using ice, I realized that I never posted this last summer (I took a LONG break back then!).  These photos are from this past summer.   This is a great outdoor activity but a few simple adaptations can  easily bring this activity inside during the winter months and actually works well with a winter theme. 

(I honestly just copied this post from the one I wrote for our private family blog last summer.  I made very few adjustments – in italics – which is why it sounds like I’m writing from the perspective of summer…. I was!)

J’s homemade water “table” is still one of his favorite activities of the summer.  A few days ago we made yellow and blue ice cubes together.  This is an activity all in itself and a great way to teach the process of freezing. Let them fill the tray using a scooper or a medicine dropper to include some fine motor skill practice!  He’s been patiently waiting to play with them since. 

He first separated the ice cubes into bowls by color and chose to make blue water first.  I filled the tray with a small amount of water (just make sure the tray is white/clear so you can easily see the water change colors as the ice melts). He really enjoys scooping and stirring the ice cubes, letting them melt in his hands,… **Use this step to utilize motor skill practice with tongs or different size (and length) scoopers or spoons.**  I’m surprised at how long a little ice can entertain!  When he moved onto the yellow ice cubes I asked him which color the water (currently blue) would become and he of course guessed yellow.  I told him it was going to be a surprise that he’d have to wait and see.  He wasn’t convinced the water was actually green until the very end when there was no denying it.  He was sure it should be either blue or yellow! 

(Sorry, I kinda cut off his face!)


We then filled the ice cube trays with green water to play with in the future.  This activity is free, entertains a good while and recycles itself too!

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7 responses to “Color Mixing with Ice

  1. Does the food coloring stain clothes/containers?

    • I haven’t had that issue. I am a big fan of Oxyclean which I tend to spray on spots before going into the wash. I’ve had a few of J’s tops that needed a 2nd spraying and wash, but I’m pretty sure that was blueberry juice from dinner 🙂 I found the hardest thing to return to normalcy is his fingers/hands if he decides to play in it. It washes out eventually, but he might have purple under his nails for awhile. Usually this is more of a problem when we paint with colored ice or when he’s color mixing with ice since his hands are really getting involved.
      As for containers, I saved some babyfood containers as well as some applesauce containers that come in handy for things like this. I sometimes toss them afterwards and sometimes wash them out. But even when I use regular tupperware it hasn’t stained them either.
      **I should say, I still wouldn’t dress them in their Sunday best for this activity.

  2. We tried colored ice in the bath last night and were a little nervous out kids would come out stained, but they didn’t! 🙂

    • I’m glad it went well! I remember being worried about that the first time we did it in the bathtub too. I probably should’ve mentioned that there was nothing to fear in the original post. I think you would have to use a TON of food coloring for that to happen but then that would make this activity way too expensive 🙂

  3. Pingback: 20 Ways to Get Outdoors with Your Kids |

  4. Great ideas. My oldest is just old enough to start these fun activities. Thanks

  5. Pingback: Fun With Colored Ice Cubes « Bloggin' About Babies

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