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  • Writer's pictureVicki Manning

Painting ice process art

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We've had some really cold weather recently so there's been a lot of ice about. On one of our walks, while we were crunching on some fabulously frozen puddles, Mr 6 showed me a chunk of ice he'd found. I was reminded of an activity I've been meaning to try for ages.

When we got home I half filled a couple of Tupperware pots, put a lid on and popped them at the bottom of the freezer overnight (so they would freeze flat).

The next morning I took them out and put them into a tray along with our Faber Castell watercolour set. This is one of those activities where the kids are champing at the bit - I barely got time to set it up and they were diving in!

Mr 2 went straight for the two-handed approach! He quickly got the hang of moving his brush around on the paint pad and transferring it to the ice.

Mr 6 enjoyed blobbing contrasting colours and watching them swirl and blend as the ice melted.

They played really nicely together, which is pretty unusual as the strong personalities and big age gap can often get in the way 😂

Mr 6 and I painted a rainbow together and watched as the colours ran down the sides of the block - it was fascinating how the ribbons of paint bled down and mixed together!

Painting on ice is what's known as process art - where the focus is all on the process of the creation and not on the end result. Process art is brilliant for helping your child to think independently and imaginatively, as it encourages experimentation and there is no 'right' way of doing it.

Some of the other areas the boys developed through painting on ice were:

  • Fine motor skills (using a paintbrush)

  • Colour-theory (how colours mix)

  • Temperature (how ice melts)

  • Socials skills (taking turns)

  • Vocabulary (cold, liquid, solid etc)

  • Self-expression (being creative)

They spent a good half hour painting and experimenting and in this time the ice didn't melt completely - it lasted surprisingly long on a central-heated house! So after they'd finished painting, I rinsed the blocks, popped them outside and the boys continued playing with them until they melted away.


I love these kinds of activities - they cost nothing, they are so creative and there are no toys to be tidied away! I will definitely be trying this again - maybe outside in the summer as a fun way to cool down.

Have you ever played with ice?



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