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  • Writer's pictureMade by Maddie W.

Ice Painting

This extra “cool” painting activity uses ice as a canvas! Not only is this a great way for preschool and school-aged children to learn how to create a unique painting, but they will also learn about the science of melting through engaging in this sensory activity.


Tupperware container


Cup of water

Watercolor paint

Paint brush

Step 1: The day before you want to do this activity, pour water into a Tupperware container. Make sure you leave some room at the top of the container- don’t fill it up with water all the way to the top! This will help to make sure that the water does not flow over the top later during our painting.

Step 2: Once you have filled the container with water, gently place it in a freezer. If you do not have a freezer or you want to experiment with this activity in the winter, you can also place the container outside on a snowy day! When water gets really cold (like it does in a freezer or on a very cold day), it will turn into a solid called ice! This process takes some time though, so that is why we want to put the container of water in the freezer (or outside) overnight. We will be using this ice as our canvas for this activity.

Step 3: When the water has completely frozen into ice and you are ready to paint, take your container out of the freezer (or bring it back inside)! Remember, ice can be very cold- don’t touch the ice directly with your fingers! Instead, pick up the container on its plastic sides.Then, place the container on a workspace covered in a towel or paper towels.

Step 4: Bring your watercolor paints, paint brush, and a cup of water over to the workspace!

Step 5: Now it is time to paint! First, dip your paint brush into the cup of water. Then, rub the paint brush onto the paint color you want to use first.

Step 6: Next, paint straight onto the ice! Watch as the paint spreads out onto the ice. It does this because watercolor paints work by adding water to the paint. We did this by wetting the paint brush first and by using ice as our canvas! Remember, like we talked about earlier, ice is just hardened water! As we let our ice canvas sit out while we paint on it, it will start melting back into liquid water because it isn’t as cold as it was back in the freezer! As the ice melts, notice what it feels like to paint onto it. Does it feel different than when it was fully frozen? What about how it looks- does the paint look different or the same?

Step 7: Keep painting on the ice until you have made it look how you want or until the ice melts!

Step 8: If you want to save your painting before the ice melts, you can also lay a piece of paper on top of the painted ice and gently press down onto the paper. Then, lift the paper off and put it in a warm place to dry!

Step 9: When you are done painting on the ice, make sure to clean up! It is important to clean up this activity right when you are done, otherwise the ice might melt into water and spill onto your workspace. To do this, you can place the Tupperware filled with ice/water into a sink, shower, or bathtub and rinse it out!

We have now completed our ice painting! I hope you enjoyed doing this activity with me!

~Made by Maddie W.

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