This is one of my all time FAVORITE sensory activities to do with children! There is a little prep that is needed and involved in it, but it is well worth it, and takes very little work.
- Balloon (NOT A WATER BALLOON)
- Tiny water proof toy, preferably an animal
- Food dye
- Container of hot water
- Small scooper, spoon, syringe (something to transfer hot water)
Prep – ALL OF THIS SHOULD BE DONE HOURS IN ADVANCE!!!!
I usually do prep for this activity the night before
- FIRSTLY, you need to place your small animal INSIDE the balloon. This is why the water balloon isn’t a great option.
- Before adding the water place a few drops of food dye into the balloon. If you are careful not to swish the balloon around you can do 2 different colors. This adds a fun effect down the road.
- Next you fill the balloon with water, none of my sinks work for balloon filling, so out we go. I usually only fill it to the size of a large mango.
- Now carefully place your balloon of water INTO the freezer. Try to have it on a flat surface. If I am putting the balloon in my deep freeze I will usually put it inside a small bowl and the in the freezer. This helps keep the shape of the balloon round.
- Once your water is frozen you can remove the egg from the freezer. To get the balloon off I just cut it with a knife.
- Decide where you want your activity. If you are going to be outside you really don’t need anything but the previously mentioned supplies. You can simply place the egg on the ground outside.
- If you are doing the activity inside I would suggest putting the egg in a water table or cake pan. This will contain the mess as the egg melts.
- Once you decide your place you need to fill up a container of hot water. I usually use a few bowls. place the hot water very near the ice egg.
- Also add the scoopers for transferring water.
I am so excited I might just start using all exclamation marks!!!!!!!! Deep breath. Now dear readers, introduce your munchkin. When my preschoolers first did this activity the preschoolers excitedly surrounded the water table and started asking “What is it?” I gave them time to look, handle and discover the strange frozen object. We talked about how it felt and what we could see.
After inspecting a few eggs one student made the discovery that there was something INSIDE the egg!!! I acted shocked! “Oh no, I think you need to help that creature out!” With a little prompting and guiding the students realized they could use the hot water to melt the egg.
I did have ONE rule. You may not DUMP the hot water container on the egg. This would mean I would be traipsing back and froth from the sink and the activity would be over in 1 minute. The students followed the rule using the syringe and scoopers.
A few of my tools had tiny holes. Others would shoot out a stream. My children Love the syringe. They discovered that they could make deep dents and even holes in the ice by shooting the water forcefully in the same spot. There is also a lot of dropping when we do this activity outside. Just remind littles to not drop the ice egg near friends.
This activity is such a blast, indoor or out! I have used it multiple times with my preschoolers and my own children. It is lovely. I hope your littles enjoy saving their critters or friends for the ice egg!