Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ice Painting

A few years ago an online friend of mine who teaches at a Jewish preschool in Tuscon told me about the ice painting her children had done. I was intrigued & was keen to try this out for myself. Well after much procrastination I finally programmed this & we are doing it this week.

Basically I went out & found some ice block moulds, which wasn't easy because the only ones I could find had these permanent sippy straw things branching off to the side & since I already have some paint eaters amongst my crowd this was a temptation I wanted to avoid if I could. I finally tracked down some in a relatively more expensive store, but luck must have been on my side. They were on sale for over 50% off & shaped like rockets. How cool!? I took these moulds to work, filled them with paint & stuck them in the freezer. A few hours later out they came. Running them under water to assist in eased the removal of the paint from the moulds.

The children then went to work.

As you can see, some of the moulds didn't want to let go of their paint. I think it was more a case of the bases no longer maintaining a grip on the softening paint. Either way, the children were presented with a problem to solve - how to apply the paint when it won't come out? Some scraped out what they could........

While others discovered other means.......

As the paint began to melt it became easier to apply, but it also meant that it was being applied in thicker portions & that small chunks began to break off during the application process.

This was not only a marvellous creative & sensory experience, but it also provided some dilemmas that required the children to utilise their problem-solving skills. In addition, this provoked some lengthly discussion among the children as well as between them & the adults about why the paint was so hard & what was happening to it. One pair even went to the sandpit where the cooking gear was situated & began making ice blocks for everyone.

Although I may have introduced this idea, the children made it their own & took it off to a number of unforseen directions. Now I'm not one to brag, but I believe this was intentional teaching in all it's glory.


  1. I think this activity covers so many bases Greg ... Form intentional teaching to creativity to science to sensory to emotional to problem solving AND I see that a number of the boys are enjoying this too. An activity like this which is bold, messy and a little outside the square is the PERFECT way to get those boys engaged ... I LOVE it!
    Donna :) :)

  2. I love the rocket ships! We usually use ice cube trays, the cubes tend to melt quite quickly with the warmth of the children's hands! I might have to hunt up some of those molds to try though! Thanks for linking up over at PreKandK Sharing We LOVE Paint linky party!

  3. I have never seen this before - what a great idea, I don't have ice block moulds but could use ice cubes instead.

  4. Ali, it was wonderful, but I wouldn't do the moulds again as the handles slid right out once the paint thawed a bit, leaving the paint stuck inside the mould. Although, this did lead to a wonderful problem-solving experience. Have fun with it.