Ages 1+

Ice Paints

Painting with ice recipe and activity ideas for kids

Join in & have some fun with Guardian Childcare and Education Artarmon as they create their own amazing ice paints.

We suggest if you do not have tempura paint, food colouring is a great substitute. We recommend encouraging your child to wear clothes that can get a little bit…colourful!

Things you will need

  • an ice cube tray
  • water
  • food colouring or tempura paint
  • paddle pop sticks (or anything sturdy to pop in and hold)
  • paper or another surface for painting on
  • space in your freezer


How to Do It

  1. Fill an ice cube tray with water. Don’t overfill
  2. If using tempura paint, mix to the instructions provided
  3. If using food colouring, add a small drop to each cube
  4. Cut a paddle pop stick in half. Use the snapped edge to mix the water and food colouring
  5. Leave the sticks inside, pop in the freezer and leave overnight.

We love sharing some of our in-Centre experiences for families and children to try together at home.



  • Prepare an area for painting. Paint outside in old clothes or lay newspaper or a drop cloth to cover any surfaces
  • On a cooler day, you might wish to paint in a warmer room so that the ice melts a little faster
  • Maintain supervision to ensure paint doesn’t wander too far and to avoid choking on smaller pieces of ice, particular with young children
  • When painting, use watercolour paper for even better results
  • Keep the paddle pop sticks and reuse them next time


What Learning is Occurring?

  • Fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and a sensory experience as your child feels the texture of the slippery, cold, wet paint
  • Dispositions for learning are being developed such as curiosity, creativity, enthusiasm and imagination
  • Creative expression as they paint, with an opportunity to explore colour mixing, patterns
  • Development of a range of skills and processes such as inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising researching and investigating. Talk with your child about the science behind ice – discuss changes that happen and why. What happened to the water? What’s happening to the ice now? How did you make that new colour?
  • Development of vocabulary – Talk with your child about ice, how it feels, what happens when it melts. Name colours together or encourage your child to create new names for the blended colours
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Sourced from MotherCould, demonstrated by Michelle Tan, Educational Leader at Guardian Artarmon.

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