Ice, Ice Baby

I hoped for a warm day to do an ice-themed camp invitation*, but in England all we had were moderate days and chilly days. The kids seemed completely unfazed by this fact and the ice probably lasted longer!

I had soooooo many kinds of ice. I basically just did everything I could remember Busy Toddler ever talking about for ice crafts ever, plus anything I could think of in my own brain. I took the chia seeds that were a sensory bin activity on Monday and put them into Easter eggs to freeze them into these weird bumpy cool sticky eggs.

A cardboard box full of chia seed eggs. They are brown, bumpy textured, and creepy and cool-looking, like some sort of reptilian egg.

I took the water beads that were an activity another camp day and put them into resealable bags to freeze into colorful spherical chunks. I froze flower petals that were leftover from “nature soup” day.

A close-up of my hand holding a big frozen cupcake-shaped chunk of ice that has roses and baby’s breath flowers frozen inside of it. In the background you can see the container with the other ice chunks it in as well.

I froze huge blocks of ice with little plastic dinosaurs trapped in them.

A close-up of the dinosaur block of ice, which is about 10 inches long and 6 inches tall and filled with plastic dinosaurs.

I froze leftover paint, some of it with popsicle sticks in it and some of it without.

6 frozen chunks of paint in the cupcake container, each with a popsicle stick sticking out of them so they can be used to paint with.

I wadded up as much pink tulle as I could and froze it into a huge ice chunk just because. I froze food coloring’ed water and glitter just for the fun of it. I froze pompoms and Koosh balls.

Koosh balls, elastic balls that are multicolored and made of stretchy strings that go every which way, again with me holding one up for the camera and you can see the others in the background.

I froze stuff in cupcake trays, ice cube trays, soap-making molds, big plastic containers, small plastic cups, Ziplock bags, and everything else I could fit any which way into a freezer.

(A quick word of thanks to all my coworkers with whom I share one tiny work freezer and who put up with me tucking oddly-shaped containers of oddities in, around, on top of, underneath, and basically every which way next to their food for a week. 😉 )

I set out all of the frozen things (and also some just regular ice cubes) into three kiddie pools along with hammers, eyedroppers, turkey basters, and a big sheet of cardboard so they could paint on it with the colorful water/frozen paint if they wanted.

Three kiddie pools outside filled with a zillion different kinds of ice, different things frozen in different ways as described above.


This image shows the long piece of cardboard laid out on the grass with several frozen paint chunks on it. Some of them are just melting into paint goo, some of them have been swirled around to make shapes and scribbles.

We had a blast smashing everything to bits! Excavating the dinos from the huge ice chunk was the immediate draw for most kids, but even after the dinos had all been rescued, everyone had a great deal of glee just smashing everything and touching it and exploring it and painting with it. (One of our kiddie pools — the one with the most rigid plastic — got a hole smashed in the bottom of it despite being on a grassy surface, so beware!)

The image shows two hands hammering away at the big dinosaur block of ice with two hammers.


*I recently ran a week-long, sensory-rich, arts-and-crafts, child-led play day camp for 30 kids and their parents! I’ll be talking about it for awhile. You can read all about it under the Camp Creativity tag.