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Ice colouring experiment

What you need

  • 1 cup of water
  • Food colouring (red, yellow, green, blue – you could also use paint, if available)
  • Short lolly sticks or cotton buds
  • Ice cube tray
  • White paper for colouring

Your materials will need some time to freeze, so it’s a good idea to start this project off the night before, ready for the next morning.


Ice play is a sensory experience which helps to build nerve connections in the brain. Using food colouring or paint is a great opportunity to talk about colours and patterns. It also encourages the development of gross and fine motor skills at an early age.

The experience

Mix some food colouring or paint with water and then use the coloured water to fill ice cube trays or small plastic containers. You can place lolly sticks, cotton buds in each section of water and freeze them in place – this will give you a handle for each ice block.

Place these containers in the freezer overnight or until the water turns to ice. Once frozen, encourage your baby to explore the ice cubes, and create some fantastic pieces of ice art on paper, both indoors or in your garden area (if available).

Why not use the remaining ice cubes as part of their bath time routine, observing how the colour merges into their bathwater as the ice eventually melts.