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Four ways to use ice in sensory play

In our most recent ice week I wanted to create invitations to experiment in which the child could take the lead without too much adult input. My child was certainly interested when he opened the freezer door and saw the invitations awaiting him. They seemed to engage him for longer than usual too, he even asked to repeat some of the activities!

Colour Mixing

Recently I realised that my child didn't know how to colour mix. This sparked the idea of this ice activity. I added food colour to jugs of water to make the different primary coloured ice cubes.

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We spoke about what colour each combination might make, you can see from his guesses that most of them weren't even good guesses. This interested me.

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We used a pipet with warm water to speed up the melting process.

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Once melted we spoke about what colours had been created. I then showed him a simple colour wheel to help him visualise why those certain primary colours created new ones when combined together.

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Flashing ice play

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I bought these flashing ice cubes from Amazon for around £7. They are plastic ice cubes with a small conductor underneath, when the conductor touches your finger or water it completes the circuit and they begin to flash. What is most fun is when they are frozen they do not flash. 

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Our aim was to use warm water and a piper to melt the ice enough to make the ice cubes begin to flash. They were very visually stimulating and would be even better in a darkened room. 

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Fizzy Dinosaur Eggs

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We can not take credit for this idea, it was a Pinterest one that I have wanted to try for a while. I had these Easter egg chocolate moulds left over from last year that worked perfectly to create a half egg shape to freeze the dinosaurs into.  

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We sprinkled bicarbonate soda over the eggs and added food colouring to our vinegar. 

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Using a pipette he squeezed the vinegar over the eggs which began to fizz away the ice. Totally awesome and easy experiment!  

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Next we added food colouring to warm water to speed up the process. We spoke about the names and features of each dinosaur as they were revealed.  

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Ice Treasure Hunt

This was by far the most fun ice experiment for my pirate mad son! I froze gold coins, gems and beads (all found for very cheap on Amazon) and froze them in a square baking tray of water.  

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We used tools that T got from a dinosaur excavation kit he got for Christmas to tap away at the ice. Obviously naturally the ice melts over time anyway easing any frustration. 

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With every coin or gem he got so excited and started again to get the next.  

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We counted them all up at the end, I had no idea he could count up to fifty until this activity! We also sorted the coloured gems into groups to see which was the most popular colour. Lovely easy ways to extend the learning.

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Overall I learned that cheap little toys can be so exciting when set up in the right way. Science experiments can be accessible and easy to prepare, creating the best motivation for our older sensory kiddos.