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Ice Painting

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A fun idea to try with toddlers

Painting ice cubes is one of our favourite summertime activities. Whilst i’d usually use non-toxic washable paints with my eldest two, I opt to use simple food colouring with my youngest (16 months)⁣

E did explore with the paintbrushes provided for a little while, but he was primarily focused on handling the ice cubes. He also love swirling the paint around until it all mixed into this khaki green colour:

Of course, the food colouring didn’t really stick to the ice cubes as such, but that also wasn’t the point. Art with babies and toddlers should be about exploration rather than a fixed end product. You can’t really get more temporary than painting ice!⁣

As he explored, I commentated on what was happening (some of you also know this as sportscasting). This included everything from the sensation of ‘cold,’ to the names of the colours.⁣

After a little exploratory session, E wanted to pick up the ice cubes, so I provided him with an additional tub so he could transfer the ice cubes.


If you are recreating this activity at home, PLEASE do it under strict supervision – don’t let your baby put the ice cubes in their mouths as they are a potential choking hazard. If you are at all worried, try freezing a large block of ice instead.⁣

I would recommend this activity from the age of 18 months +⁣

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is the founder of Teach Investigate Play. She helps parents navigate the early years by providing meaningful and simple activities. She also owns 'Get Set Social Media' - a social media consultancy for small businesses. From the UK, now living in Vienna (via Australia). About page has more!

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