This project is one of my favorites so far. I am planning on repeating this one over and over again because it is that amazing!
Although this activity may look like it takes so much time to prepare for, in reality it is very simple and fast. Misha loved pouring and squirting water on the ice slowly revealing the plants and flowers in them. Like most activities, it took a twist when she asked for the watercolors. I'm so glad I listened to her idea and went along with it because the colors and textures were amazing!
2 ice trays
Foraged greens (small leaves are best)
Flowers (foraged or the cheapest you can find. This is optional - it just add a pop of color)
Squirt bottle (we bought ours from Walmart I believe. Dollar Tree also sells them. If you don't have any simply have them pour water from a small container)
Optional: water color tray
Fill each whole of the ice tray with the foraged greens and flowers. Make sure they are not sticking out too much.
Fill out the rest of the tray with water carefully so it doesn't overflow.
Freeze for approximately 2 hours - I left ours overnight.
Once frozen, add the ice cubes to a tray and fill the squirt bottle with water.
Prompt them by talking to them about water and how it gets hard when it freezes. Let them explore how to squirt and offer guidance if needed.
If you want to include a watercolor tray, I recommend you add it at the end of the activity so that it's almost like two activities in one. This helps change the gears in case they are not interested in the first activity.
Tip: Having an old towel handy is great to dry their hands when they need to.
Make sure they do not try to eat the ice for shocking purposes. If they show interest in eating the ice, I suggest you incorporate pop cycles at the very end.
This is a great invitation to play for toddlers. They are immediately drawn to the coldness and textures of ice cubes and plants.
Remember to have fun!
Fine motor skills: This is a great activity to work on those pinching and squeezing fine motor skills.
Sensory: Seeing and feeling the materials change within their fingertips is beautiful to watch.