Making ice cubes and then watching them become liquid again supports scientific thinking and growing vocabulary. Whānau can talk about the different properties of water and the effects of temperature (frozen, fluid, puddle, evaporation) with tamariki.

Why do it?

  • This is another good activity for playing outside in hot weather.
  • It’s an opportunity to notice and talk about what happens to the ice — it starts as water, freezes into a block, melts into a puddle, evaporates into the air and disappears.
  • Playing with ice is also an opportunity to explore how coloured ice blocks mix with plain water.
  • It’s also a chance to make and eat frozen treats — ice blocks made of water/diluted juice with a piece of fruit frozen in the middle.

How to do it

  • You need an ice block tray for the freezer, some ice cream sticks for making frozen treats, small pieces of fruit, food colouring and a basin.
  • Make plain ice blocks together. When the ice has formed, explore what happens when you put an ice block outside.
  • Try putting pieces of fruit and ice cream sticks with liquid in the ice block tray (this could be diluted fruit juice) to make frozen treats for later.
  • Try making ice blocks with food colouring in them. Fill a basin with plain water and drop the coloured blocks in, and then watch them melt.
  • Mix a container of water with flowers and leaves that tamariki have collected, and freeze it with a piece of string through the middle. Hang it up in a tree or on a fence and see how long it takes to melt. Tamariki can watch the light as it refracts through the ice and reflects the colours from the flowers.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Really big
Iti rawa Really small
Roa rawa Longer