Thursday, January 13, 2011

Candy-Colored Ice Castles

Gracie's kindergarten class is making a giant group ice castle today - every kid instructed to bring a block of ice, personalized with food coloring, glitter, small toys - and I thought oh how FUN! Gracie and I spent several days making her ice block - colored layer of water upon colored layer of water, with a good freezing in between, so that her ice was striped in a frozen rainbow, infused with rainbow glitter.

Annelie watched as we made Gracie's ice and I could see in her eyes how much she wanted a rainbow block of ice of her very own.

Ah, little grasshopper, I am the Queen of Ice Castles and you are the Princess and together we will make a candy-colored masterpiece, I thought.

So we did.

This project is far from quick, but RICH with learning, and my nearly-four-year-old had the best time ever, both in the project prep and in playing with her ice.


  • Water!
  • Food coloring!
  • Small toys or whatnot to make your ice blocks rock (we added Mardi Gras beads to a bunch of our ice blocks - partaaaay!)
  • Plastic containers (for freezing the water) - various sizes and shapes, and lots of 'em!
Annelie helped mix the colors. We used primary colors only - red, blue, yellow - and Annelie added the colors to the water, stirring them up, dropping in glitter. We only filled the cups partway before freezing, so that we could add more layers of color.

No, I don't freeze our buttery spread - that is a giant purple and Mardi Gras bead work of art!

At one point, I counted 15 ice blocks in various stages of creation. The making of the ice blocks took us about 4 days, adding more layers of color here, and more Mardi Gras beads and glitter there.

(Usually my freezer isn't this empty, but we are desperately in need of a trip to the grocery store - a trip that I will procrastinate for as long as humanly possible)

And then the magic began. Using warm water to help pop the ice out of the containers, and baking pans to hold the castles of melting ice, and mugs of hot chocolate to warm our insides as our fingers froze, the castle construction began.

At one point, Annelie and our cat Sophie were both licking the ice. I had to shoo the cat outside, but Annelie was more than welcome to lick her ice, squish her ice, build with her ice, and play play play.

And as the ice began to melt, Flounder found himself an orangey-brown swimming pool.

A fun project just perfect for playing in pajamas.

Go on! Make an ice castle of your very own!



AlyGatr said...

FUN! Funny, we have a set of mardi gras beads just like that. Isn't great how ice, glitter and a little color can be such a hit?

TMCPhoto said...

I can hear my Peanut loudly proclaiming "I want to make that!" I'll have to wait until we have more room in the freezer, and I have more patience in my brain. I'm thinking this may be a summer time activity

Tina Laurel Lee said...

so cute!

Meeling said...

How awesome!!
So much fun and great sensory project. Too cool!
(no pun intended)

Melissa said...

SO! MUCH! FUN! My kids love to freeze little toys in water, but I've never thought about adding food coloring. We'll have to try that, especially since we can keep them outside for weeks without melting.

Kate said...

This looks so fun. Do the girls get to eat it when they're done?

Laura Pauling said...

She must have been in heaven building a colorful castle like that. fun.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

So much fun! What a cool mama you are! She'll probably always remember doing this with you.

Leah said...

I'm definitely going to do this once the weather gets better! Andrew would love it!

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