Ice Cubes, Buttons and Glitter

Currently our Toddler loves to play with water, she is always asking to wash her hands so she can make bubbles with the hand soap and splash water all around the bathroom. She has also started to tell us if she is hot or cold and is slowly learning her colours and shapes. So I decided to put together a simple and fun little sensory activity for us to play whilst Tiny Tot napped.

A few days ago I filled the sections of an ice cube tray with buttons (circles), small shaped cardboard cut outs and (lots of) glitter. I chose to pick a colour scheme so this week was red, I didn’t want to throw in too many colours and cause confusion. I then topped them all up with water and placed the tray in the freezer.

So today, when Tiny Tot was taking her morning nap, we dug out one of our plastic art mats, filled a large bowl with warm water, grabbed the ice cube tray from the freezer and sat down for some glittery water fun.


I started off asking her by asking her what the ice cubes felt like – She told me they were cold. I then asked her to feel the water and she said it was hot (it was luke warm but everythings either hot or cold at the moment). Then we started the fun part. I asked Willow to place an ice cube in the water and to watch what happens.


She loved watching the ice cube melt in the water and the colours and shapes emerge. She was able to tell me there were buttons, circles and point out the colour red.


We held them in our hands to see how long they would take to melt and Willow tried picking out the buttons, she quickly realised she needed the ice cube to melt so the buttons could be easily removed.


We both really enjoyed this little fun sensory activity together and were both completely covered in glitter by the end of it (which of course Willow loved as it meant she then got to wash her hands with foamy bubbly soap). Willow particularly enjoyed the different textures, the smooth buttons, slippery ice, gritty glitter and damp cardboard, and I just loved watching her little face light up each time she plunged her hands into the bowl.

We will definitely be doing this activity again but next time we’ll change it up a bit with different colours, shapes and maybe even coloured ice cubes.

Do you have any ideas for fun water activities with littles?

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  • Reply
    Thelma Booth
    19th April 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Looks like very fun thing to do xx

  • Reply
    Agent Spitback
    23rd April 2016 at 7:29 am

    This is a very clever idea, Hannah! My kids would love to do this, actually I would too! #PasstheSauce

  • Reply
    absolutely prabulous
    25th April 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Gosh in addition to the many things that have opened my eyes since I started blogging, the hands-on involvement doing things like this really hits home. I never even heard of sensory play with mine! And am just not the kind of mum who thought to play with her kids. Big oops. Looks like your little one had fun. Thanks for joining us at #passthesauce

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      26th April 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I never used to be into sensory activities either mainly because I hate the mess but my toddler really loves it so I’m trying to find ‘cleaner’ activities to do 🙂 thanks for hosting x

  • Reply
    This Mum's Life
    26th April 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Wow, this is such a good idea!!!!! It’s so simple, but just brilliant! My children are both obsessed with playing with water, it’s all they ever ask to do! I will definitely be doing this with them, because it’s something I’ll actually enjoy doing too! I like doing sensory things with the children, but unfortunately I’m not creative enough to come up with my own ideas, and rely on posts like this and Google for my inspiration!!

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      26th April 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you, it really was simple and fun (I loved it too!) I’m trying to do more sensory activities with my toddler because she really loves textures and colour but I hate the clean up so I’m trying to find ‘cleanish’ things to do. I’m glad you liked this one 🙂 Thanks for hosting x

  • Reply
    An imperfect mum (Catie)
    5th May 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Perfect activity for summer – Karen (co-host) has also been playing with ice this week but she added colour. I have seen small farm animal toys or dinosaurs hidden inside the ice and children who have been given little tools to break the ice like palaeontologists too. I love the glitter and the colour theme. TY for linking up to #FamilyFun

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      5th May 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Oh I love the idea of hiding little dinosaurs inside, my little lady is a huge fan of dinos and monsters so that’d be right up her street! Thank you for hosting 🙂 x

  • Reply
    6th May 2016 at 9:27 pm

    This is brilliant. I’ve seen it done with lego too. I’ll definately be adding on to this over the summer when the Robot has turned one and is a bit more into things. I’ve seen the use of cups, bowls and ladels/spoons used to aid co-ordination skills. This is worth a go too. Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    • Reply
      Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
      6th May 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you, it was a really fun activity, I think I’ll give it a go with her again in the future with some extra bits added as she really enjoyed it 🙂 Thanks for hosting x

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