It’s getting hot around here, so what could be more fun to play with than ice?
Ice is a great tactile toy even for babies younger than one: just fill a large paper cup with water and peel back the cup once frozen to let them touch, slide around on a plate, and otherwise enjoy. I recommend waiting a little longer before presenting smaller (freezer tray-size) ice cubes to your little one.
One simple idea for toddlers is to “paint” with ice cubes. Sprinkle a little jel dessert powder on a tray and then let your child slide an ice cube across the powder.
The melting ice will make rivulets of color, and this game is a great way to introduce the scientific concept that ice melts into water. Travis eagerly lapped up this new vocab word, repeating “melt!” throughout the afternoon.
Even more fun, I thought, would be a hammering game from Teaching 2 &3 Year Olds. For set up, place any small toys in paper cups, cover with water, and freeze. When it’s time to stage a “rescue,” set your child up with a basin and toy hammers.
Well, the premise was great and Travis was thrilled to see his little dinosaur and panda bear (a current favorite) ensconced in the ice.
I have to assume, though, that the kids from the original blog post were much older than Travis, or using stronger hammers, because it was tough to chisel our way to the toys – even for me as a grown up!
Eventually, we both got impatient and I poured some warm water from the tea kettle into our basin to help the process along!
At that point though, Travis was able to proudly liberate panda and the other toys, with a very delighted grin.
The next night, he asked for panda in ice again – eek, I wasn’t prepared! I put panda in just enough water to freeze in about two hours, and then we set him free at bath time simply by plunking the ice block into the tub. Panda has been taking baths with us every night since!