Surprise Ice Cubes Sensory Activity

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been helping Junior work through his sensory processing issues caused by his deafness, and part of that is creating many opportunities for him to experience a lot of different textures through play.

This weekend, in a moment of blazing Mommy Glory, I got out the well-loved sand-water table and filled half of it with water, and the other half with dried beans. I imagined my children gently playing with the water and running their hands through the beans while giggling in delight. I then imagined them playing outside for an hour while I cleaned the house, then we would all meet inside for hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies.

Hahahaha. Hahaha. Ahem. HAHAHAHA.

This is what happened after 10 minutes. We had to order a ShopVac. Not joking. By the way–wet black beans stain concrete. 

Soooooo, I decided to find some less messy sensory play ideas. Because I have better things to do than pick dried beans out of grass. Junior loves playing with ice, so I wondered how I could turn ice play into a sensory rich activity. I found a few ideas for ice drawing, ice cube shapes, and freezing toys inside of ice cubes. Perfect.

All you need is an ice cube tray, water, and some small toys or craft supplies.

I couldn’t find my big ice cube tray, so I had to use a tiny one, but it had different shapes, so it was fine. I placed one item in each little slot and filled it with water, then froze it. After a couple hours, I gave them to the kids to play with…outside, of course. They held them and played with them until the ice melted and they were left with a surprise!

Here’s a picture of how they turned out.

Here are some ideas for ice cubes tray fillers: 
(*always keep an eye on your children to make sure they don’t put any small items in their mouths once the ice melts. Consider the age of your children when using items that could be a choking hazard.)

  • stickers
  • glitter
  • buttons
  • marbles
  • small plastic animals
  • beads
  • feathers
  • bouncy balls
  • wooden letters and numbers
  • craft pom-poms
  • fruit such as cut grapes or strawberries (for an edible surprise)

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3 thoughts on “Surprise Ice Cubes Sensory Activity

  1. We discovered the downfall of the sand water table when our daughter liked to mix them constantly. We decided to make it just a sand table after that. I love the ice idea. We actually were planning to do something like this for my daughter’s birthday party (Frozen themed) and call it melting a frozen heart. Glad to see it turned out well so we can go ahead with the idea. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday this week!

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