Preschoolers love to paint! This is the number one reason for putting together our ice painting bin for preschoolers as an inviting way to paint on a surface other than paper. While ice painting fits nicely into your winter theme, it is also a fun activity to add to a summer theme. Put together this interactive painting activity with supplies that you already have in your classroom!
Ice Painting Bin for Preschoolers
The supplies are so simple to be able to put together your own ice painting bin for your preschoolers. Whether you are working on a snow, ice, winter, or 5 senses theme, here is what you will need:
- shallow plastic bin
- ice cubes or a bag of ice
- jar of water
And really, that’s all you will need for the set-up!
You can simply dump a bag of ice into the bin and you are basically done prepping this activity! 😉
I add a jar of water in the middle of the ice so it cannot move around. This way there is no worry that the water will tip over. And I leave out the inexpensive watercolor sets. There is no need to use the more expensive liquid watercolors for this activity. The colors in the watercolor sets work perfectly…and they are washable!
I recommend using thicker paintbrushes, but not as big as classic easel painting paintbrushes. Your preschoolers will enjoy the flexible paintbrushes when painting the ice cubes. They distribute the color a little bit better.
Invite your preschooler to paint!
Definitely don’t overcrowd the bin with hands and paintbrushes. It is not as fun when you are competing with others for space. I have 2 preschoolers stand on each side of the table. So in total we have 4 friends painting together at once.
When the ice seems to be all painted, simply readjust it. Scoop the ice from the bottom of the bin on to the top. This way, everyone gets to paint clean ice and the colors stay visible!
This ice painting bin activity was adapted from all of the ice block painting ideas that you can find on Pinterest. A few years ago I spent days freezing water in the bottom of plastic ware containers for my preschoolers. I laid one on each tray with watercolor set and a paintbrush. I was so excited and so were my preschoolers when they came into the classroom that day.
Well…our excitement didn’t last as long as I had hoped! Even with a jar of water, the ice blocks quickly became brown with all of the mixing colors. It was kind of disappointing and I spent too much time wiping the ice in-between preschoolers. I guess it would have been quicker to rinse the ice block, but our classrooms do not all have sinks.
If you aren’t up for painting, an ice bin can still be fun for preschoolers!
Add penguin toys or figurines to the bin to play.