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3 Awesome Ice Activities

It gets pretty hot in Los Angeles, so rather than watch my kids meltdown, we decided to melt some ice.  Here are three, inexpensive activities that will fascinate your kids and keep them cool! Just make sure to prep ahead (or you’ll be watching kids trying to watch water harden. 😉 

Ice Block Excavation

If you judge an activity by how long it keeps your kids occupied these ice blocks were a HUGE winner.  I wanted to do it in layers so the toys were more dispersed and I could get a little color gradiation. I started with a clear bottom and let that freeze. Pour cold water (it’s important this layer is cold or it will melt the first layer) and you keep going until it’s done. I have to warn you it takes awhile for liquid of this volume to freeze so you’ll have to start this the night before.  I gave it to the kids with a few tools and they started with brute force. We then tried salt and finally, they figured out that heat would melt the fastest. I feel like they learned a lot because they were really motivated to get the toys out. If you don’t have a lot of time to set this up you can do something more simple with a smaller size block of ice.

Ice Painting

This was surprisingly not messy and my kids loved it! Fill the ice tray ⅓ the way with paint and the rest with water. Stir it up and let it freeze for about two hours then stick the forks in. Let them freeze the rest of the way and you’re ready to go! We used paint with glitter and I think the pictures turned out gorgeous.

Ice Boats

Finally, we sailed some ice boats! These are really easy! First fill the container with water and then cut some construction paper for the sail, and secure it to a fork.  Place it in the container and let it freeze – you can tape the sail into place so it sticks up. We then placed foil on the ground and added water to it to serve as our river.  These were the quickest to melt, so maybe I’d use bigger containers next time, but they were absolutely the coolest to watch.



Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (7, 4, 2). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best play that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house.