My son really likes to paint, so I’m always looking for different methods of painting. I don’t always want to get into the messiness of finger painting – especially indoors -- and water colors aren’t always as much fun as the bright colors of poster paint.
I saw ice painting demonstrated one day while we were watching Sprout, and I was intrigued. I modified our activity a bit from the directions posted online, using watercolor paper instead of paper towels and cardstock. I like the heaviness of watercolor paper; it can take a lot of paint!
The night before you want to paint, prepare your ice cubes. Put a little poster paint in the bottom of the cubes of an ice cube tray. Fill with water and mix well. Add half of a craft stick to make a handle. Pop into the freezer and let them set overnight. We’ve had success with solid colors as well as glitter paints.
When you’re ready to paint, take the ice cube tray out of the freezer and let them sit for a few minutes before trying to get them out of the tray.
Pull the cubes out, give each kid a piece of watercolor paper, and let them go! First, the kids rubbed the cubes on the paper.
When they were fresh from the freezer the colors were lighter.
Then, as the cubes thawed, the color went on thicker and darker.
Then, the boys discovered pieces of the ice cubes fell off if you hit them on the paper or pressed them like a stamp. By the end, we had soaking wet, colorful pieces of art!
Variation: In honor of Earth day, I made green, blue, white, and silver glitter (just for fun!) paint cubes and cut our watercolor paper into circles.
My son discovered it was fun to paint his hand and then stamp it onto the paper.
My son told me his painting shows Earth right after it was formed. (He’s a bit of a space and planet nut.) Mine shows Earth later in its developmen, or so he tells me. J