Rainbow Ice-Crystal Science

This awesome Ice colour mixing Experiment started as our usual sensory bin and developed into something I hadnt planned or imagined, a much more magical episode of play and learning.
I love it when Play manifests into new discoveries and something completely unexpected.
It all started outside as I was cleaning out the deep freezer!  Instead of wasting the ice slabs I was chipping them off and giving them to Dimples to play with.
Dimples adores penguins so he was happy to play away in an imaginary small world where a Killer whale was chasing penguins onto ice capsules and lion seals were dancing around in the snow. Once all the ice was in the tub I gave him some coloured water to muck around with seen as though it was a warm day, blue & green that represented the ocean then I let him be.
Just quickly a word of advice, if you are doing this with younger children be careful as the ice can stick to their skin, I explained this to Dimples first and had some water in the bottom of the tub in case it happened but he thought it was the funniest thing ever and wanted to stick his fingers to the new pieces of ice.

To our surprise the coloured water looked amazing on the ice capsules. Because freezer ice is crystallised over time, the colour really soaked up into it much better then on any other ice that we have played with. The capsules kept their crystallised form, with small icicles and didn't melt too quickly, instead they took on the colours and looked like crystals themselves.

Dimples thought this was the coolest thing ever and used up all the green and blue then asked for more. 
Extending on the magical look of the coloured ice crystals we got a few different colours to experiment with and a dropper to use.
Dimples tried out yellow and then got the red, by then most of the ice crystals had blue on them but remained nice and vibrant in colour.  Instead of running through or dripping out the colour stayed nice and bright.

As he squirted red over a blue ice capsule he excitedly yelled "look Mummy Purple!" and I was amazed just how well the colour mixed through the ice. "Wow what other colours can you make?" I encouraged and he made a bright Orange. With every new colour he mixed he would say "WOW, look!" it was great to see him so engaged in the theory of colour mixing.
He experimented with mixing colours and got some beautiful shades of orange and purple amongst the red, green and blue.  By the end it looked like a rainbow of ice crystals.

After all the colour mixing and mucking around Dimples just continued to play with the Rainbow ice trying to break it up and smash it around.
Then after breaking a large slab in two he showed me that the colour had gone all the way through. Instead of the colours running off or only staying on the surface, as they do with your usual ice/salt play they had actually soaked into the entire slab and mixed in the process.

The large purple Ice crystal reminded me off a crystallised amethyst stone that my Nan gave me as a girl. We thought it was quite a magical and beautiful way to have some sensory play and experiment with colour mixing and ice crystals.
Happy Adventures


  1. Wow! Looks amazing and how fab to evolve from cleaning the freezer!!

  2. They must have has so much fun experimenting and investigating this! It looks so interesting and inviting to play with!Great idea...thanks for sharing with us x

  3. Wow, so pretty! Colourful fun for a hot day :)

  4. That is soooo cool! I get a little sad when I see all those lovely snow activities that get posted on Pinterest but now I know that I can do this instead. Yay!

  5. Oh, how pretty and fun!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  6. We love experimenting with ice. This is awesome. I'm featuring this at The Sunday Showcase tomorrow.

  7. Well done on blogging with a newborn.

    This is such a fun activity. Cammy loves playing with ice. We have a whole bunch of syringes left over so I might use these to colour the ice. Thanks



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