Icy Exploration


In the toddler program, a large red ice ball was placed in the black tuff tray. The children were invited to come over and explore. The children took turns touching the cold ice. “It’s cold!’ Hudson stated. “It’s cold!” Zyan repeated. Joanne ran her hands across the ice and commented, “It’s slippery!”

Children exploring an ice ball

Noticing how many children were interested in the ice ball, we decided to add another coloured ball when we set this activity up again. The children seemed very excited when they saw two ice balls. “Red and blue!” stated Chloe. She began to touch the two ice structures with her fingers. When Joanne and Hudson came to explore, they each brought a vehicle to slide across the ice.

Toddler exploring two large ice balls

During the day, the ice structures began to melt. We talked about how the melted water had now changed to colour purple. “It’s a popsicle!” Said Laura. The other children hearing this also started to repeat, “It’s a popsicle!’

This activity was not only an engaging activity for the children, it also fostered many developments. Playing with ice helps children develop their fine motor skills, such as their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It stimulates all of the senses, including touch, sight, hearing and (sometimes!) taste. This helps children learn about the different properties of ice, such as its coldness, slipperiness, and sound when it melts. Playing with ice can aid in developing new vocabulary words, such as “cold,” “wet,” “melt,” and “solid.”

Child helping to make popsicles

This activity inspired us to create our own personal “purple ice balls” that we could eat. The children gathered around the table and each had the opportunity to help measure and pour juice into popsicle molds. They were able to see the process of a liquid turn into a solid when we removed them from the freezer.