Baby Hints & Tips

Ice Experiments For Kids

ice block dig activityIce Block Excavation Activity 

School might be back but the weather is still scorching. Sometimes it’s hard to fill those long hot afternoons, especially on a budget. This fun ‘craft meets sensory’ activity is the answer to all these mummy challenges as well as providing hours of fun for kids of any age. Even better it takes no time and minimal effort to prepare. Win, win, win!

What you’ll need:

  • A large container you can put in the freezer (an ice cream tub would be perfect)
  • A collection of small toys from around the house – all those party trinkets you find in drawers, farm animals, happy meal freebies – that sort of stuff!
  • Water & a freezer
  • And because I wanted to add some real motivation to the challenge – I added 4 jelly snakes (any jelly style lolly would work. If you are a sugar-free mummy please read on!)
  • Tools to dig the toys out – a very small hammer, a toy tool kit, anything from your own kitchen drawer that’s safe but would serve to dig into ice

How to make it:

Step 1: Fill your bowl with water.

Step 2: Drop all the toys and lollies into the water.

Step 3: Freeze (takes approximately 48 hours to be solid).

How to ‘play’ it:

  • Pop your mega ice block out of the container. If it doesn’t drop out easily you may need to run it under water for a short burst to loosen it.
  • Set the kids up in a shady spot with the ice block on an old towel. The towel prevents the ice moving around while they are working on it.
  • Use the selected tools to excavate the toys from the block.

Discussion points:

There is so many great things to talk about with this activity. You will need to choose age appropriate topics for your child of course –

  • How science uses digging to uncover history – dinosaurs & fossils
  • What it feels like – is it cold, smooth, sticky?
  • What it tastes like / feels like in your mouth if you put in the sweets
  • Tool safety – especially if you let older children use a small real hammer – taking turns and swinging the hammer in a safe manner

I knew this activity was a raging success when my five-year old son and the nine-year old next door did it for two hours! I was even more convinced when my little guy asked me to make another one a few days later. This is truly an activity that provides high engagement – especially for “busy” children and is ideal with no cost to set up. Enjoy! 


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