Hi, I’m Kristina from Toddler Approved. I am excited to be sharing a few ideas with you today. I am a former teacher of children with communication disabilities as well as a mom of two- a toddler and a preschooler.
Toddlers learn best from activities that are open ended and allow for a lot of exploration. My kids have both been loving exploring with ice lately… so I thought today I’d share our three favorite ways to play with ice.
1. Ice Painting
For this activity we just use colored paper and small pieces of ice. The kids do a variety of things with the ice while they explore. They drop it and let it splatter on the paper, they move it around to make shapes and lines, and we also play a little drawing game together where I will draw a picture and my son and daughter will try and guess what it is. Any guesses what the picture below is showing?
If they can’t guess it, I can give hints… it barks and wags it’s tail…. any more guesses?
The kids also just like to create their own drawings. It is fun to see what they come up with! We draw on top of towels so that our floor doesn’t get totally soaked.
2. Walking on ice
This was a great sensory activity that my son came up with. We laid down freezer paper on the floor (which is waxy on one side, so the ice/water doesn’t melt through) and then the kids poured some ice on top of it. Then they let the ice melt a bit. Once it was melted enough that there weren’t any sharp pieces of ice, they took turns walking back and forth across the ice.
They giggled so much and squealed. I loved their smiles. My son talked about all the different things he felt- cold, wet, frozen, etc… which was great for my daughter to hear.
This was such a simple sensory activity that also taught my daughter a few new vocabulary words.
3. Ice Scooping
I really should call this activity ice eating. My daughter loves to eat some of her ice while she does this. While I am doing the dishes in the kitchen, I set up a little water/ice station on top of some towels next to me. I give my daughter scoops, pots, bowls of ice, cups of water, and some measuring cups or wooden spoons and just let her explore.
I take a break from the dishes every few minutes to give her another idea of how to scoop or where to put water. She loves to splash the water, bang on the pots, and pour the water into the pots.
This activity has become a great way for me to work with her on simple requests/questions. She often wants more water or more ice, so she will come to see me. I model how to ask for water/ice/more cups in a simple way and I have loved how good she is getting at requesting things from me now!
Learning language in natural settings like this is far more meaningful than drill and kill exercises to teach kids new words or how to request things. My daughter is so motivated to learn how to make proper requests because she really wants the ice/water from me.
Do your kids like to play with ice?
How else have you explored or created with ice before?
Here are a few other favorites ice activities that my kids have loved…
Kristina is a mom of two (a preschooler and a toddler) and a former Special Education teacher for children with communication disabilities. She writes about her creative explorations over at Toddler Approved. Her goal is to find ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest and Google+.