It’s the height of quarantine, my poor girl is getting tired of the same activities, same people and same toys in the house. I’ve been justifying all the new toys I’ve bought her by saying it’s because I feel bad she’s indoors and so bored… but while I can’t say no to a good Target Haul, my bank account is screaming for me to give it a break. Thankfully, I had all of these materials at home and it kept her entertained for a lot longer than I expected. Read on to see how we played with this ice cube jewel rescue activity for preschoolers.
- Ice cube tray – I used a fun silicone shape mold I found at Walmart)
- Small objects to hide inside -I used craft jewels I had on hand, but you could use anything from mini erasers, beads… anything that will fit in the ice cube tray)
- Food coloring- this is optional, but of course adds more fun to the activity
Set Up & Skills Targeted
1) If you’re using food coloring, add some to your bowl of water.
Skills targeted: Graded Force (not squeezing too much food coloring in) , bilateral coordination (holding the bowl with one hand while mixing with the other hand)
2) Add objects to the ice cube tray.
Skills targeted: Counting, fine motor precision, visual motor integration
3) Scoop Water into Ice cube tray
Skills targeted: Graded force (moving just right speed to not spill water), visual processing (being able to recognize when the water is filled to the brim of the tray)
4) Place trays in the freezer
Skills targeted: Patience 🙂
This is the part where you get to get creative as a mom, occupational therapist, caregiver, etc. You can choose different ways to help rescue the jewels from the ice.
Some ideas include:
- Smashing ice cube with a hammer
- Painting the sidewalk with the ice until they melt
- Submerging the ice cubes in a bowl of water (experiment with different temperatures of water to add some STEM thinking to it: “which one will met fastest?”
- Squirting hot water on it with a squirt gun, syringe, water bottle, etc.
We (by we, I mean, the toddler that wears the pants in the house) chose to use a squirt bottle with hot water. She only lasted a couple squirts before fatiguing, so I took over and she loved screaming “I see one!” every time a jewel slipped out from the depths of an ice cube. After we rescued the jewels, she put them back in the ice trays and experimented with the ice cubes to melt them all the way down.