Tea Scented Ice Sensory Play

Scented Ice Play (7)

We’ve been busy with ice lately during a heat wave, and today we added an olfactory element to the fun: ice cubes scented with tea! You’ll want strongly scented teas for the best results with this activity. Think flavors like cinnamon, maple, ginger, mint, or other bold scents.

Scented Ice Play (1)

The night before, I brewed strong cups of 3 tea varieties, using 3 or 4 tea bags for each mug of hot water. Let cool and then pour into the compartments of an ice cube tray.

Scented Ice Play (2)

Partly to add a visual sensory element to the game and partly just so I would remember which cube was which, I also color-coded the three different teas with food coloring. Yellow was for peppermint, red for cinnamon apple, and blue for maple ginger.

In the morning, it was HOT out on our patio and the ice was frozen solid, the perfect combination.

Scented Ice Play (3)

The ice cubes came out of the tray within moments. I held each different scent up to Veronika’s nose in turn. Look how happy the maple ginger made her!

Scented Ice Play (4)

She loved leaning in for a big whiff of each, asking for “more more” insistently since at first the cubes were too cold for her to touch and lift.

Scented Ice Play (5)

Then she wanted to take a lick! She loved the peppermint best.

Scented Ice Play (6)

As the ice melted, the yellow, blue, and red coloring began to trickle off. I couldn’t decide if I was glad I’d used color or not. The kids were more into the smells and tastes anyway, not the sensory look of the colors, and it just meant messier fingers. But oh well!

Scented Ice Play (8)

And then they discovered that the ice on the hot patio melted in a matter of seconds.

Scented Ice Play (9)

I guess this disproves the theory that watching ice melt is dull!

Scented Ice Play (11)

Both kids loved smelling the tea and swirling the cubes and tasting until the last drop of ice had melted.

Scented Ice Play (10)

A perfect sensory experience for a hot morning.

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