We have had wonderful fun today playing with colourful ice fish. Originally I was planning to do this outdoors in the paddling pool, but the weather is miserable and overcast so we decided to bring it indoors.
How to make them
I added a few drops of natural food colouring to a jug of water and froze these in individual coloured batches. It took me a few days to get this ready because I only had one ice tray (it’s not even my own ice tray. How I have reached 26 without owning an ice tray is beyond me!)
I was planning on making rainbow fish, but I had run out of blue and green food colouring. Probably because I have been making paint by the bucket load recently!
We set the tray up in the wet room and allowed Buddy to discover it. Normally when he is in the wet room he goes straight towards the shower and attempts to detach the hose, but today he went straight towards his pretty fish. The Train Driver sat nearby to supervise because some of the fish tails had fallen off and we wanted to reduce any choking risk.
Buddy tried a few of the fish but surprisingly (for the boy who eats everything) he soon realised that they didn’t taste of anything and explored with his hands and feet instead.
He enjoyed swirling the fish in the tray and watching them bump into each other.
He then splashed the water from the defrosting fish and made a great big orange mess on the floor. He loved touching and splashing the orange puddle.
Buddy then wanted to play with the shower seat, so we put a few fish on there for him. He had fun slapping the seat and watching the fish slide and jump.
He then decided to alternate between splashing his puddle and splashing the remaining water in the tray. By this point the fish were mostly melted.
Fortunately, as the Train Driver has a day off, he was on clean up duty whilst I cleaned Buddy up. These ice cubes haven’t stained anything in our home but please, for your own sanity, put your kids in their messy clothes before playing with this until you are confident that the ingredients you use will also not stain.
Expand on it
Allison at Learnplayimagine has a brilliant version of this play on her site where she uses the colourful ice in the paddling pool. This is a great expansion because in enables children to see both the ice and water change colour. You can find her post on the link below.
For older children you could incorporate shape and colour sorting, or produce an entire under the sea theme with seashells and seaweed and learn about the ocean.
Have fun folks and let me know how your little ones enjoy this.