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Ice Painting with Watercolours

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This Ice Painting with Watercolours activity doubles as a science experiment for your toddler!

Ice Painting with Watercolours

Science experiments are always fun. They encourage curiosity, safe risks, and are lots of fun.

This Ice Painting with Watercolours activity doubles as a science experiment for your toddler!

  • What will happen when the paint lands on the ice?
  • Will the paint stay the same or change somehow?
  • What will happen when different colours blend?

Painting on ice with watercolours is a great way to explore colours and dapple with reactions - it's also a fun painting activity for toddlers! 

A humble ice block can be loads of fun for a toddler. Fun bogging about in their cup (make sure you get the correct colour for the day) of water to clink up against their teeth as they take a sip and are great for play.

Ice painting with watercolours is an inexpensive and engaging activity for your toddler on warm sunny days. Setting up is easy and no fancy equipment is required!

Ice Painting with Watercolours

What you need to make your ice painting with watercolours activity: 

  • Small freezer-proof bowl or container
  • Water (for freezing)
  • Watercolour paints - I love THIS set
  • Water (for painting)
  • Paintbrush - I always recommend this pack of brushes.
  • Tray (optional)

Remember chunky brushes are best for developing hands and fingers! We made larger ice blocks to experiment with mixing colours.

If you are pressed for time, traditional-sized ice blocks could definitely be used. The wow factor of having a supersized ice block is worth the prep the night before though.

How to set up your ice painting with watercolours activity:

Setting up this activity is a breeze–an exceptionally cold breeze as you open the freezer! Simply place your water into your freezer-proof vessel, then pop it into the freezer.

Once frozen to remove the ice block, I ran cold water along the underside of the bowl to encourage the ice block to slip out easier.

Place the ice block onto your tray to catch the water as it starts to melt, or better yet, head out the back yard and pop your ice block on the grass if the weather is permitting.

Ice Painting with Watercolours

With painting water, paintbrush, and watercolours at the ready, you are all set to begin!

Before you begin, why not throw some scientific prediction questions at your child?

What do they think will happen?

Why do they think that?

What are they going to do to test their theory?

These are all questions that can help develop their comprehension of the experience.

Ice Painting with Watercolours

The best effects seem to happen with quite water-laden paint. After dipping the paintbrush into the painting water, sweep it across a watercolour, mixing until there is a good colour payoff. Without wiping the excess paint, gently lower it to the ice.

Watch the colours pool and travel along the ridges in the ice. Do they freeze or run together? What new colours can you create by placing them side by side? What happens if you add a drier brush to the ice?

So many little experiments and scientific discoveries to be had!

Painting on ice with watercolours is so much fun! This is a great activity for households with different age groups. Even Dad may want to give this one a try!

Watching the colours pool and spread across the ice is quite calming. The instant gratification of getting a reaction as soon as the colour hits are great for younger toddlers too–an instant reward!

Science and art come together for a great learning experience when you paint on ice with watercolours.

Ice Painting with Watercolours


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About the Author

Dani is a busy stay at home Mum of 3 and early childhood teacher in training who is passionate about play based learning throughout early childhood. For educational play ideas that you can do at home and parenting tips visit Play Inspired Mum Check her out on Instagram  andFacebook