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Outdoor Ice Play

Outdoor Ice Exploration

Well Little N had Little A round for a play date today. 
I wanted to give the two of them the opportunity to explore new things today.
Here was one of the play invitations I set up.

Before you read on please please please read this carefully! 
Before giving ANY ice to your children to play with make sure that you swill the ice blocks or cubes under the tap. This begins the melting process which will avoid the ice sticking to their skin! 
This is so so important!!

You will need:

- A variety of containers
- Items to freeze
- Tray
- & of course a freezer

I gathered a variety of small containers together all different shapes and sizes. 
I have plenty of these as I made all my own weaning meals for Little N when she was younger and used these for storage. 

You can get them very cheaply from pound stores and super markets if you don't have many though. 
Time to get creative and start thinking of items to hide in the ice......

I selected green cut up straws, brown twigs, colourful and shiny sequins, shiny pink sweet wrappers, orange pom poms, blue, yellow and red water beads and pipe cleaners.
The list really is endless for this though.
Next time I want to include some sea shells, flowers, pine cones and leaves.

Of course it came to no suprize that Little A and Little N made a B line for this tray.
It was something new and different.
They both explored to begin with with just their fingers tips and looked over for some encouragement.
It was then I stepped in to show them what it was and I briefly told them about what we could see and encouraged them to feel the different textures. 
As this was a new experience for both of them and you could see they were a little hesitant.

They both began to utter the word "ice" well.
Together we all had a look at what we could see and we demonstrated how to take the ice blocks out of their containers, explore the melting blocks with our hands and how to put them back into the containers.
Once they had their introduction to this sensory experience, again I took a step back allowing them to lead their play themselves.

Little N decided to get up and went to walk off but stood still and watched as Little A remained crouched down and began to tip the ice blocks out onto the tray and put them back again. She did this for a few minutes before leaving and becoming distracted with something else.

Little N returned and crouched down. 
She felt the ice with her hands and repeated to herself  "ice it cold".
Little N did a great job at tipping the ice out of the containers. 
She looked down at the tray in amazement as she heard the ice blocks crash down into each other.

She then selected the melting ice block filled with fluffy orange pom poms.

She stood up with it feeling it with her hands. She walked over to me and handed me the ice block. "It cold" she warned me. Little N then went to look at the sensory bottles so I returned the ice block she gave me back to the tray. Little A dashed over taking an interest in what I was doing.

The ice was melting well by this point and some of the objects that had been frozen in the ice had now started protruding. 
This added to the sensory exploration as the blocks were not only cold they were now rough, smooth, crunchy, furry and prickly.

What a fantastic activity for children of all ages!
The learning opportunities here have so many possibilities.

Little A carried on tipping the ice out. I began to stack up the containers.
After playing alongside Little A's lead I once again took a step back.

I watched on as Little A began to un-stack the containers placing them in the puddles on the tray.
She began to place some of the ice back into the containers, tipping them upside down to make them crash back down onto the tray again.


- Cause and Effect
- Exploring using senses
- Confident to show they want help and support where needed
- Keen to take part in new experiences
- Puzzles
- Sharing
- Taking turns
- Playing alongside each other


I plan to repeat this activity again using some of the same objects but also adding different ones too.

Addition - 

What Can I Freeze?
(Pretty much about anything but here is a list of some more ideas)
- twigs - leaves - conkers - pine cones - shells - pom poms - pasta - rice - water beads
- action figures - small toys - pebbles - lego - octoons - flowers - straw - fruit slices
- feathers - pipe cleaners - sweet wrappers - ribbons

Learning Through Play
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