Colored Ice Play Time

I follow another blog called "House of Burke" (no relation) which features a lot of sensory play ideas for babies and toddlers. I am not very good with babies. I mean, I'm not bad with them, but I have a hard time playing with them. I'm like, oh hi, you're cute. . . do you want to eat now? No? Sleep? Okay, so we're good? And the baby just blinks up at me and it gets awkward. I get really excited when I finally figure out a way, any way, to play with an under-two-year-old.

Recently the "House of Burke" featured a sensory play with ice post. I knew Claire would love this. Both my girls love to chew on ice. Coryn and I recently did a series of experiments with the "states of matter" where we froze water, evaporated water, and let it stand at room temperature to see if anything magical happened (nothing did). Since then Coryn has been randomly filling containers with water and freezing them so she can play with the ice.

I decided I wanted to make it interesting for both girls, so last night after putting Claire to bed, I called in Coryn and had her help me drop food coloring into the ice cube tray (This would be an excellent opportunity to teach colors or color mixing, but Coryn already has a good understanding of these concepts and Claire is too young). Coryn was crazy excited about the ice but also obsessed with eating it. I guess colored ice tastes better.

Due to a planned trip to the Naval Aviation Museum on base (it's free; we go about once a month. I'll have to post about that someday) we didn't get to the ice until afternoon, but then I divided the ice up so they each got one of every color (I did the basic color wheel, green, yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, though purple came out more black) and put them down on paper towels to absorb the colors and liquid as the ice melted.

Claire experiments with colored ice

Coryn used it to color her own skin
The paper towels we used actually were very pretty in the end which made this also a bit of an art project; it's definitely a new way to paint.

On a related note, I just used regular food coloring, but I'm a little leery of food dyes. I think they might be a contributing factor to the skin rashes that plagued Coryn when she was younger. She doesn't eat a lot of dye, but I found out it was in the body wash she was using and since I stopped buying that her skin has cleared up with only occasional flare ups. I would be interested in any natural food colorings that would work for this project. A friend suggested freezing blueberries in the ice (cool idea. Blue berries can be expensive, though, and since Coryn likes them a ton they normally are eaten within an hour of being purchased) and I thought about glitter since I don't think that would kill them, ingesting glitter. . . would it? Anyway, if you happen to have any input on natural food coloring, let me know  


  1. This would be fun to do outside on a hot day. Probably in the pool and not the sidewalk for easier cleanup.


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