With summer round the corner and the weather hotting up, it can be hard to find outdoor play ideas which will also keep the minis cool. Ice is an amazing sensory play tool that can keep children of all ages entertained, from toddlers to tweens (plus, it's cheap!) Here are our five favourite sensory plays with ice.
Freeze dino toys inside a plastic container and, once frozen, encourage the children to use tools (plastic medicine syringes can be fun and safe to use here!) to dig them out.
Frozen Dinosaur Eggs
Put a small dinosaur toy figure into a deflated balloon, encouraging it inside without splitting the balloon. Once inside, stretch the neck of the balloon around a tap and slowly fill with water, making sure to not overfill and cause the water to squirt out of the top.
Tie the neck in a knot and freeze. Once frozen cut and peel off the balloon and admire your dinosaur eggs. Encourage the eggs to 'hatch; by chipping away at the ice or watch them melt and guess how long it might take. You could also add a drop of food colouring to the water before freezing to create rainbow eggs.
Freeze a block of ice using a shallow dish. Once frozen add coarse salt to the top of the ice block to create a reaction with the ice. Watch and listen as the salt creates craters in the ice. Use a paintbrush and paints to add rainbow colours to your ice and watch rainbow waterfalls run down your craters.
Take a small bowl and hunt for nature treasures such as flowers, leaves and blades of grass. Leave your treasures in your bowl and fill with water. Before freezing add a piece of string, ensuring the ends of the string both sit in the water, creating a loop once frozen. After freezing hang on a tree or window outside and watch the sun catch your creation. Try guessing how long they will take to melt.
Ice Cube Painting
Fill an ice cube tray with water, adding food colouring to the cubes (you could also use child-friendly coloured paint). Before putting in the freezer sit a lollipop stick in each cube, creating a paintbrush 'handle' once frozen. Take a sheet of paper outside and paint your icy rainbow!