Painting With Ice

Try this fun activity sure to engage children of all ages! Kids love to swirl the melting paint over paper, creating beautiful designs. They’ll practice their color recognition and counting skills while observing paint go from a liquid state to a solid state, then back to liquid again.

What You Need:

  • Liquid tempera paint
  • Ice cube tray
  • Craft sticks
  • Paper
  • Plastic wrap (optional)


  1. Help your child pour the paint into the ice cube tray. Let her count out how many cubes of each color she wants.
  2. When she’s done filling up the tray, have her put a craft stick into the middle of each paint cube. The sticks should be able to stand up on their own, but if they won’t stay up, try covering the tray in plastic wrap. Then poke the sticks through the wrap for extra stability.
  3. Have her carefully place the ice cube tray in the freezer, and let it sit until the paint is frozen solid.
  4. When the paint cubes are frozen, it’s time to paint! Ask your child to choose a color, and help her pop the chosen paint cube out of the tray.
  5. She can hold the craft stick and swirl the frozen paint cube over paper. As it melts, it’ll leave a lovely trail of paint. Encourage her to use several different cubes to create her masterpiece.
  6. As she paints, discuss the process of freezing. What happened to the paint when she put it in the freezer? What’s happening to the paint when it’s exposed to the warm air and paper? What does the paint feel like as it melts?

Ice paint is also a great tool in teaching your child about color mixing. Freeze only yellow and red paint cubes, and let your child discover what results from using those colors together. As they melt, the paints will magically mix into orange!

If your hosting an outdoor birthday party, this activity is a wonderful way to engage your little party animals.

Important! This craft is quite messy, so be sure to cover your work space.

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