Summer Fun: Painting on Ice

Jun 14, 2014

On Monday, I wrote about my hopeful plans for the summer, which include doing at least one out-of-the-ordinary activity each week. It's time to start checking off items from my pinterest boards!

First up, painting on ice.

This is actually something I meant to write about last summer. It was quite the popular (and easy!) activity with my kids. It was inspired by this post on Learn Play Imagine, but we simplified it.

The boys were so excited when I asked them if they wanted to freeze some water for ice painting this summer. They hadn't forgotten how much fun we had with it last year.

Here's what you'll need:
  • ice blocks 
  • watercolors (nothing fancy--Crayola works great)
  • paintbrush
  • water (for rinsing out the brushes)

Give each child a block of ice and paintbrush, and let them go to town.

We've experimented with different sizes of ice blocks. Last summer, we were still renting and only had the small freezer above the fridge, so we froze water in cereal bowls or muffin tins. Now we have an upright freezer, so we had plenty of room to freeze water in three small mixing bowls. The boys seemed to like this size best because it gave them a bigger canvas for their masterpieces.

My boys all have different styles. Aaron likes to paint in big color blocks. Maxwell likes to do a mosaic of beautiful colors. And Bradley starts out with a similar mosaic that eventually all turns into the same shade of brown.

After awhile, the ice becomes much more melty, and the colors just slide off. The ice turns clear and transparent, which is beautiful in the summer sunshine.

It's at this point that my kids start playing with the ice. (This is a 2-in-1 activity. Score!) They hold it and see how fast it melts in their hands. They slide it around with their feet. And they throw it on the ground and watch it shatter into interesting pieces.

I love this activity because 1) it's easy to set up, 2) the mess stays outside, 3) it's cold, 4) it keeps my kids entertained for a long time, and 5) it's easy to clean up.

 A super hero cape is not required for this activity, but it will make you feel infinitely more awesome.


  1. Oh, great idea! I think I could handle that one, too. We have started taking the city bus to the weekly library summer program event. For only $1.60 round trip, the kids get a little adventure every week. If they stop being excited about it, we'll go back to driving, but for now it's something they look forward to and talk about all week! It's the simple things, isn't it?

    1. What a fun idea! My boys would love that! It's nice when you can find something simple that gives you a lot of bang for your buck!

  2. This looks like tons of fun... and I definitely think a super hero cape would enhance the experience :)

  3. Brilliant! And then it all melts away. I love it.

  4. This looks like a summer activity I could totally get behind. Little effort on my part and lots of fun for the kids. Win!


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