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Ice Block Excavating


Activity Overview

Children will love this ice excavation activity which can be customized to suit your child. You are basically creating a tower of ice that is filled with all sorts of small plastic toys and /or foam letters. Equipped with some salt water and some tools of the trade, young children will have a great time applying the salt water mixture in a variety of ways which melts the ice away and reveals each small toy one by one.

This activity was simply fascinating for our toddler and his school aged siblings. The young teens joined right in too to help. This ice block excavation can be done inside or outside and is perfect for an activity to keep kids busy and cool on a warm day.

This activity combines science and fun as the salt water causes the ice to melt more quickly. This is a fantastic sensory and quiet time activity for young children. You can adapt this activity by adding rainbow colored items or by adding objects and letters and matching the letters with the first letter of the object that they find or simply by having your child try to name the items that he or she uncovers.

Materials Needed

  • A container or bucket
  • Small toys
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Freezer
  • Spoons, Squirt bottle or turkey baster, and paint brushes
  • A shallow pan or tray

How to Make and Play

  1. Place a couple of inches of water in a container and place a layer of small plastic toys and letters in the water.
  2. Place it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  3. When it is frozen add another layer of water and toys. Freeze again.
  4. Repeat this step until the whole container is full of ice and small toys.
  5. When the container is completely frozen, take it out of the freezer. Run some warm water over the bottom of the container.
  6. Turn the container over on a shallow tray and tap it until the ice block slides out of the container.
  7. Mix water and salt together and place in a bowl. We also really enjoyed using a squeeze bottle so you can fill one of those up too.
  8. Have your child use a baster, paint brush or squirt bottle to apply the salt water mixture to the block of ice.
  9. In time, the ice will melt away and uncover the treasures hidden inside.

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