It’s Winter and somedays the windchill makes it too cold to go outside and play. Prepare an activity that will keep the kids engaged and learning while having fun! Sensory play often holds children’s attention much longer than a cookie cutter activity printed offline. This activity is quick and easy to prepare the night before, so let’s get started!

Freeze Aquatic Animal Toys

  • Pick out a few different size plastic Tupperware containers.
  • Collect aquatic animal toys, that can be placed in water, from around the house. You can decide on a different theme of toys to freeze as well.
  • Fill your containers with water, leave a bit of room for expansion as it freezes.
  • Drop in 2-3 toys in each container and place them on a flat surface in the freezer. If you don’t have a ton of room in your freezer, check that the temperature will get below freezing over night and you can place the containers outside.

Materials Needed for the Sensory Play

  • Pipettes, you may have some from left over tinctures
  • Spoons
  • Cups of cold and very warm water (use liquid water color to offer colored water)
  • Cup of salt
  • Cup of sugar
  • Large bin or cookie sheet with a lip
  • Tarp or vinyl tablecloth to cover your floor
  • Prediction printable for ages 4 and up

Time For Ice Sensory Play!

  • Set out the materials in your sensory bin or cookie sheet. Tell the children what you put out: sugar, salt, warm water, and cold water.
  • Ask the children how they think they can get the toys out of the ice. They may begin spilling out ideas! Encourage them to draw or write their predictions in the box as scientists do.
  • Then let them dig in and try it out! Narrate what they are doing and ask thought provoking questions such as, “Which item is melting the ice the fastest?”
  • Try not to join in too early on because your actions act as a demonstration to the children. Sit back and see if they can problem solve.
  • At the end, ask them if their predictions were correct. Can they draw and write what they observed during their sensory play?

This is a wonderful science and sensory play activity for children of all ages. Every child will go about it in their own way. You can explain that Scientists solve problems in different methods as well. Have fun letting the children learn through play!

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