Absolutely one of the coolest (pun intended) art activities for kids is frozen paint. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and something worth having on hand for days when you absolutely need an indoor activity for kids.
What is frozen paint?
Frozen paint, people, and not like “Let it Go! Let it Go!” type frozen. Actual frozen – slowed down molecules and all that good science stuff. Frozen paint was a dream boat of an activity – the kind of art activity you could do on repeat and never get tired of.
It’s literally frozen paint for kids to paint with.
And it’s seriously awesome.
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- Washable tempera paint (this stuff is my favorite)
- Ice cube tray
- White butcher paper (one of my go-to supplies)
- Craft sticks
For how cool this project is – and the wow factor when kids play with it – this is one short supply list. I love when supply lists are basic. It makes everything just a little bit sweeter.
RELATED: Do you have a toddler to entertain? Check out my fantastic list of toddler activities.
Directions – How to make frozen paint
Frozen paint is not hard to make. What is hard is writing out the directions. It’s just more steps than my usual easy kids activities.
You have to prep this activity the day before, which I typically hate doing. But for something as awesome as frozen paint, it’s worth it.
- Fill each slot of the ice cube tray with paint, about half way.
- Top each slot with water.
- Cover tray with foil.
- Take a knife and gently cut slits in the foil above each slot in the ice cube tray.
- Set craft sticks into the slits, which will be held upright by the foile.
Pretty cool, huh? Picked up that little tip from my friend Kristina at Toddler Approved.
The next morning, we had frozen paint to play with and it was glorious.
Fun fact about me: I always have a tray of frozen paint waiting in the freeze for just such a moment that a day takes a turn or we need a reset fast.
How to use frozen paint with kids
Once I had my frozen paint ready to go, I rolled out some butcher paper for my kids and taped it to the floor.
Always tape it – the last thing you want is wet artwork that moves…
I placed a set of frozen paint-sicles on a plate with just a hint of warm water to help the cube start melting.
Tip – Add in some classical music
Go with me here. I decided to add in some classical music to this activity.
Music and art go together. Music influences the art that comes out of kids. Music also helps hold little attention spans.
Music changed everything.
My kids (3 and 4.5) instantly were more focused. They followed the music and their paint strokes matched the tempo. They were so deep in thought – letting the music and the art come alive together.
It was one of my favorite art moments we’ve ever had together.
Frequently Asked Question
Yes! I’ve had great luck with this washable paint for kids. My best tip? Rinse the stain with warm water and scrub with hand soap. Rinse. Add more hand soap and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse before tossing it into the laundry.
Remember, think “stages not ages.” Instead of judging an activity by age, think about activities like food and whether your child would enjoy it. Ask yourself if they are able to hold a utensil and paint? Do they enjoy painting? Can they sustain focus on a project?
Check out my blog post on painting with kids where I list my absolute best tips. One of my favorites is to give each child a wet wash cloth to be able to wipe up their messes as they happen (instead of needing to wait for help or spreading the mess around).
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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