Painting Ice Cubes: Easy Toddler Activity

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Painting ice cubes is not just a craft; it’s a mini adventure in color and creativity that my three kids absolutely adore! Whether we’re looking for a cool indoor activity to brighten a winter day or a fun, messy playtime outdoors in the summer sun, ice cube painting never fails to splash our day with joy and laughter. It’s fascinating to watch the ice melt into beautiful, flowing colors, and even more thrilling to see the unique masterpieces my little artists create every time.

The beauty of ice cube painting is its sheer simplicity, coupled with the endless possibilities it offers. It’s a sensory treat, perfect for little hands eager to explore textures and temperatures. In the summer, we take this activity outside, basking in the sunshine while the ice melts a little quicker, creating a blend of colors. In the colder months, we take it indoors and lay out a towel underneath the sensory bin turning our living room into a mini art studio.

Not only is this activity a blast, but it’s also incredibly educational. It teaches color recognition, stimulates fine motor skills, and introduces the basic concepts of cause and effect as the kids watch the ice melt or the paint freeze. Plus, it’s a great way for children to express themselves and lets them understand the joys of creating something with their own hands. So, ready to get started? Here’s how you can set up your own ice cube painting session:

What You’ll Need for Painting Ice Cubes

  • Tray or sensory bin
  • Lots of ice cubes
  • Watercolor paint or washable kids’ paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Bowls
  • Water

How to Set Up Painting Ice Cubes

  1. Prepare Your Space: Whether you’re indoors or out, us a tray/sensory bin to contain the mess. This activity can get a bit drippy!
  1. Color the Ice: Place lots ice cubes on the tray or in the sensory bin. Fill a bowl with water. Grab your water colour paint or washable kids paint.
  1. Start the Art: Let your kids paint the ice cubes using the watercolor or washable paint. Encourage them to experiment with color mixing.

When you introduce paint to the ice cubes, it’s like watching a mini science experiment unfold right before your eyes! As the paint touches the cold surface of the ice, it starts to chill and thicken, creating a fascinating texture that’s different from painting on paper or any other medium. If the temperature is just right, you might even notice the paint beginning to freeze on the ice, forming delicate, frosty patterns. As the ice slowly melts, the colors will swirl and blend together, creating a mesmerizing display of art and science in action. This unique interaction between the cold ice and the paint not only adds an exciting element to the activity but also serves as a wonderful conversation starter about the states of matter and how temperature affects substances differently.

Tips for Success

  • You can use any type of paint you like to do this activity. Water colour paints are great as they are relatively mess free and easy to clean up. Washable paints are also great and provide vibrant colour on the ice. You will also see how the ice can make the paint freeze more when you use this type of paint.
  • Encourage questions about why the ice is melting (in the summer) or the paint is freezing (in the winter) and discuss the effects of temperature.


  • When the fun’s done, simply toss the ice in the sink or toss the ice on grass to melt.
  • Wash the bowls, tray/bin, and brushes with warm, soapy water.

Ice cube painting is more than just a craft; it’s an immersive experience that combines art, science, and sensory exploration. It’s amazing to watch my kids engage so fully with this simple activity, learning and creating with every brushstroke. So, grab some ice and paint, and watch the magic unfold right before your eyes!

Age Suitability

This activity is great for toddlers aged children 2 years old and up with adult assistance.

Mess Level

The mess level for this activity is medium.

Difficulty to Create 


Toddler and Preschooler Curriculums, Books & TV Show!

Play2Learn Toddler & Preschool Programs for Curious Toddlers

There is no limit to your toddler’s energy and curiosity. That energy and curiosity although a joy can be challenging at times. Their interest in just about everything around them is what makes them great learners. One and two year olds can soak up so much just from their senses!

But as a teacher or parent that thirst for learning can be exhausting. That is why I created this toddler and preschooler program. To help you get the most out of this time with your curious toddler without having to come up with creative ways to play and interact with them.

Play2Learn for Toddlers includes 20 Units for toddlers. Each 2-week toddler unit has 20 super easy to set up and engaging activities for toddlers 18 months to 3 years.

Play2Learn Preschool which includes 20 Units for preschoolers. Each 2-week preschoolers unit has 20 unique and easy to set up and engaging activities for preschoolers 3 years to 5 years. That’s over 800 learning activities for your toddler and preschooler at your fingertips! So many ideas you and your child will never be bored again! 

These toddler and preschool lesson plans and activities will definitely keep you and your toddler and preschooler busy playing and learning!

Click here for more information: Play2Learn

Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.

Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy at Amazon

Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.

Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids

Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more. 

Find out more and grab your copy here.

Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.

Book: Big Book of Riddles for Kids

Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast? The Big Riddle Book for Kids, of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles tha. t show them how to think outside the box.

  • 350 riddles for kids—Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
  • Level up their skills—Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
  • Double-check their work—Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.

Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!

Designed for kids ages 6 years old and up.

TV Show: Curious Crafting

I’m so excited to share my crafting TV show Curious Crafting which launched in July 2022 on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube! Season 2 aired in August 2023! My show was also nominated in 2023 for Best Live Action Preschool Series by the Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence.

Curious Crafting Season 1 is also now airing in Australia on ABC! Watch it here!

Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.

In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create. 

Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.

This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up. 

The Best Sensory Play Kits for Kids

Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.

Our Sensory Play Kits are some fun and easy ways to keep your child engaged while at the same time using sensory play to nurture their mind!

Shop our ready made play kits here.

Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.

Ice Cube Painting: Easy Toddler Activity


  • Lots of ice cubes
  • Tray or sensory bin
  • Watercolor paint or washable kids' paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Bowl
  • Water


  1. repare Your Space: Whether you're indoors or out, a tray/sensory bin to contain the mess. This activity can get a bit drippy!
  2. Color the Ice: Place lots ice cubes on the tray or in the sensory bin. Fill a bowl with water. Grab your water colour paint or washable kids paint.
  3. Start the Art: Let your kids paint the ice cubes using the watercolor or washable paint. Encourage them to experiment with color mixing.

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