Make the most of the freezing weather!

The tail end of winter is providing overnight frosts this week with temperatures falling to well below freezing. It’s a great opportunity to use the cold weather to create ice activities with your children. In this post, and one to follow, we shall be offering lesson plans and activities to use ice in a creative and interesting way. We hope that you find them useful and enjoyable.

Activity Title:


Age Group:

 Ice Art

Art and Design

Early Years/KS 1

Overview of the Activity

Using creative techniques to explore freezing and melting water.

Equipment Required

Large shallow trays, jugs of water, selection of natural materials,  short lengths of plastic tube

(2-4 cms), string or rope.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand that water freezes in very cold  temperatures.
  • To learn about and understand the changing of  the seasons.
  • To create textures and develop language to  describe them.
  • To work collaboratively in small groups.

Set Up

Spend time discussing the weather in the lead up to the activity and  encourage pupils to watch a weather forecast at home and to decide when would  be the best time to conduct the activity. Look at the standing water outside  in puddles and ponds. Also look at videos and pictures of snow and ice scenes.

Ice art, outdoor learning

Return to the container the next day to see what has happened. Talk about the ice, allow pupils to touch their ‘sculptures’ and describe what it  feels like and what the frozen objects inside look like.


The final act is to hang the sculptures from a tree or post outside  using rope threaded through the hole that has been created with the plastic  tube in the corner. Observe the sculpture during the day, does it melt or stay  the same, do bits fall off? Take pictures to be shown to parents and other  members of the school.


Talk about how water melts and freezes and think about other ways in which you could use ice to create sculptures.

Encourage the pupils to use different language to describe the textures and visual effects of the sculptures.

Extend the discussion on to where we might find ice and what we might  use it for.

Extension Activities

Use a variety of different shaped containers. Add food colouring or  paint to the water before freezing.

Encourage pupils to visit the sculptures during the day to estimate how long the freezing/melting takes.

Find ways to catch the melting water and recycle it so it can be  re-used.

There are many other ice art sculptures that you can create such as:  Using ice cubes to build an igloo for a small animal or fictional character.  Try using balloons with water in to create ‘ice baubles’. Try creating ice  windows from thin sections of water in the bottom of shallow trays etc. etc