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Painting the Ice

Exploring Colour

This experience provides children with opportunities to experiment with how colours change when they blend together, while practising fine motor control and exploring ice as it shifts and changes through the melting process.

You will need:

  • Containers/bowls of different sizes​

  • Water

  • Bowl

  • Spoon

  • Salt

  • Tray

  • Watercolour paints

  • Paintbrush

  • Paper Towel (to wipe off excess paint)

What to do:

Step 1

Fill containers with water and freeze overnight

Step 2

Remove ice from containers/bowls by running under warm water

Step 3

Set up equipment and then place ice in the tray

Step 4

Demonstrate to children how to use the paintbrush to get watercolour paints and add to one of the blocks of ice

Step 5

Demonstrate how to add salt to the other block of ice, and then add water colour

Step 6

Ask the children to discuss what they see happening- what are the difference between the ice block with salt and without when it come to adding colours?

Step 7

Have children experiment and engage with this activity independently

Step 8

When there is not much ice left, but there are still colours swirling, take the ice outside and look at it in the sunlight.

Tip: The deeper the container, the longer the ice lasts. If you have several children wanting to engage in this experience, perhaps wash off the ice and tray in between each child's turn.

I also experimented with pouring warm water onto the top, to see what effects this had on the colours and the ice. I also added salt throughout, just to see what this would do (What can I say, I enjoy experimenting myself!)