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Art With Ice: Sensory Play and Process Art for the Winter Season

by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC


If you've been looking for a new way to engage your children in creative play and expression, then look no further than sensory play with ice cubes! Sensory play offers an exploration of texture, color, movement and sound as children use their senses to explore the world around them. By integrating ice cubes into your art activities you can provide your children with a unique experience that will ignite their senses, boost creativity, and thrill them with the surprise of a cold touch in their hands.


Sensory play with ice cubes is incredibly important for children's development as it helps them explore the world around them and build their imagination and creativity. Use of ice cubes in art activities also encourages children to utilize open-ended thinking about materials and processes. Ice cubes can provide the perfect combination of visual stimulation and tactile experience for children to explore and create their own unique pieces of art while engaging fine motor, sensory and cognitive skills.


Ice, water and the effect of cold are fascinating elements that bring a unique exploration with combinations of art, sculpting and melting. Ice cubes can engage children in the process of exploring texture, temperature and color while they create a sensory experience of learning to play with ice. From exploring colors and shapes, to designing amazing creations, there are countless things that can be done using ice cubes in art activities.


From freezing colorful objects like marbles or small plastic creatures, to creating abstract masterpieces with dripping watercolors or light reflecting off slippery surfaces – the possibilities are endless when it comes to ice cube art. These activities require minimal materials and can be done outside or indoors.


For painting with ice cubes, you can use various sizes and shapes of containers and trays to form the ice, food coloring, watercolor paints, various scented herbs, citrus fruit peels, glitter or any other small embellishments and water. If you would like to use the ice cubes as paint brushes, you can pour water into the trays available and add food coloring to change the colors as you desire as well as any additional embellishments. You can also try adding citrus fruit peels and herbs for an olfactory experience as well. Freeze your ice trays once you have added the components desired.


Since the results of painting with ice cubes vary color-wise, it can also be a fun way to teach your kids about color mixing. Kids can create vibrant and creative artwork while exploring science, sensory play and art all at once. Not only does it offer a fun way for children to get creative, but it also teaches them important art techniques such as color blending, color mixing, and layering.


You can also change the function of the ice for this type of sensory play. Using the same process as above to create your ice cubes and forms, you can choose to paint the blocks of ice or cubes after they have been frozen. Allow your child to experiment with this type of process art and experience changes to the colors as the ice melts.


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