This sensory ice activity is guaranteed to entertain kids of all ages – and works great both indoors and outdoors!
We love using sensory setups to help children explore big STEM concepts, so we’re excited to share this awesome sensory activity with ice by Sensory Play Sisters!
Here’s all you need to make your own frozen sea animal activity at home:
- large container
- food colouring (optional)
- plastic toys to freeze – sea animals work great, but you could also use superhero figurines, Disney characters etc.
- Containers, scoops and child-safe tools for exploring the sensory setup and melting the ice
And here’s how to prepare this simple sensory ice activity at home:
1. Add water to a large container. Leave room for the water to expand as it freezes.
2. Mix in a few drops of blue food colouring (or other colour). This is optional but a fun extra – glitter can be fun too!
3. Add the plastic toys and freeze overnight.
4. Remove from the freezer and lay it out with containers of cold, warm and hot water (not too hot – it should be safe for children to play with), as well as a container of salt.
5. Challenge your kids to free the animals by melting the ice as quickly as they can. Encourage them to think about what makes the ice melt more or less quickly.
How does this work?
Your kids should find that the fastest way to melt the ice is with warm/hot water, and salt. Salt is very good at melting ice because it lowers the freezing point of the water, which means it has to be colder to stay frozen.
That’s why salt is used to keep roads and pavements safe during winter!
Hot water works well too, because it quickly raises the temperature of the ice. It does this by transferring some of its energy to the ice. This cools the hot water down, but also makes the ice warmer.
If your kids enjoyed this activity, we think they’d also like playing with frozen dino eggs.