Monday, 26 November 2012

Magical Ice Painting ~ Christmas wrapping paper

Miss M loves Ice Painting and we have done it a variety of different ways such as using it to experiment with colour mixing, hiding objects in the ice to find as the ice melts and just plain painting with Ice for fun.

Regardless of how you choose to paint with ice your child will be experiencing their sense of touch as they respond to coldness of the ice. They will be investigating about solids and liquids as they see the liquid turn solid as ice when made very cold in the freezer, then be amazed as it turns back into liquid as it melts with their warm touch. They will be using their creativity and knowledge of shape, colour and lines as they use the ice to paint.

I wanted to use the ice painting as Christmas Wrapping paper so we added a little bit of magic!!

This activity was brilliantly timed thanks to Mother Nature.
On the Friday we put our ice trays filled with magical water into the freezer to turn to ice thinking we may get to paint with it over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon we had a huge hail storm where ice literally fell from the sky!
Here is one of our downpipes.

We collected some of the hail to keep as ice in the freezer and watched as the rest of the hail melted away in the humid November weather.

Miss M was very happy the hail she collected.
She was not so happy with the very loud sound it made on our patio roof as it came down! Hail can be noisy!!

Here is one of the ice block trays we made to use.
I found this tray at Ikea a number of years ago and it has been well used as painting ice in my classroom and at home!

We choose 3 colours, red, green and yellow and we added glitter to the water. To make the coloured water we just added a few drops of food colouring. You want it quite dark so that it shows up brightly on the paper.
When you do this you will see that the glitter floats to the top, which is great as it looks impressive for little eyes!

We also made a smaller tray of ice blocks and I added a magical surprise inside some of them. I didn't do all of them as I planned on letting my 11month old do some ice painting also and these would pose a choking hazard for him.

Our Ice blocks ready to go!
The long stick ice blocks are fantastic for little hands and make drawing shapes, lines and writing with the ice lots of fun!

We did this outside and it was a little windy, hence the brick pavers used to hold everything down.

H man did pick up an ice block but I was not quick enough to get a photo before he decided, nah I don't want to do this...

...I'd rather play with the ball. Which was fine.
If your child has other ideas go with it, it's no fun for anyone otherwise. They may decide to come back to the task or not but for H man he wanted to play ball instead.
If your baby does want to paint however, always supervise carefully.

Miss M making swirly whirly patterns with the ice!

The glitter came off the ice and onto the paper really well.
I was soooo impressed with it!!

Older children could write or draw Christmas themed shapes.
If you weren't making Christmas wrapping paper you could use ice painting for
  • letter writing practise
  • number writing practice
  • name writing practise
  • shape drawing practise
  • Investigating colour mixing
Remember to
  • Talk with your child about what they are doing, seeing, feeling. Give them words for their actions.
  • Ask questions about what they are doing, seeing, feeling. Ask them what is happening to the ice.
  • Ask them to tell you about what they are doing.
  • Get them to tell you about their picture.
  • Make it real and meaningful for them, tell them for example "We are going to use this art that you create to wrap up Nana's Christmas present".
  • Relate it and link it back to real life experiences, "Remember when it hailed? Can you remember what hail is? What happened to the hail? That's what's happening to our ice.

As he played with the ball we left H man's ice to melt as it was.
Looks pretty effective also!

Wow look at that melted magical ice!

Grab some paint brushes and paint with it.
That's what we did!!!

Playing with coloured ice can make little hands a bit messy.
The food colouring does stain the skin but rest assured it comes off after a couple good hand washes with soap.

The experience is definitely worth it!!

Miss M was asking for more magical ice so I can see that we will be doing this one again very soon. Luckily it was so very simple.

It's a great activity for a warm day and you may even get some beautiful Christmas Wrapping paper to wrap up something special!

Stay tuned for more Home Made Christmas Wrapping Paper when I finish my post on Christmas Wrapping Paper 6 ways!


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  1. What a great idea to add glitter into the ice! I love it. It really did create a nice magical feel to ice painting. Well done!

  2. Ooh, I really like the long pencil shaped ice paint. Great idea! And the glitter is a fun addition too :)

  3. Beautiful colours...will make wonderful wrapping paper! Love that you added glitter..have got to try this with the girls...i just never seem to get organised enough to freeze some!!

  4. I love this idea! I have seen lots of versions of homemade wrapping paper, but this is the most creative yet! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love those ice sticks, such a great shape for little hands! I have never added glitter to our ice paint before.....will definitely have to do this next time!

  6. I think we might have to add a little more colour next time we do ice painting. Ours weren't nearly as vibrant. And that stick ice-cube container is really cool, I haven't seen one like that before. Do you know where you got it?

    1. Thanks Kate! I purchased the stick ice tray from Ikea but it was at least 5 years ago. Not sure if they have still got them sorry.

  7. Wow just love this type of messy play so creative

  8. Yes, the long ice cube sticks are perfect for this activity. You created some beautiful vibrant colours.

  9. This would be perfect for the hot weather we are enjoying at the moment :-)

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