No matter what time of year colored ice is always a hit with children. But in the summer a bucket of water filled with it colored ice cubes is simply the best to keep the sensory game cool for kids of all ages.

It’s perfect for keeping the kids cool and refreshed on a hot summer day!

Let’s make colored ice cubes for the mind game outside!

Summer is great and so are they fun summer activities to keep your kids cool and have fun in the back yard!

One of our favorite ways to have a warm summer morning is by making colored ice cubes and placing them in a large bucket of cold water.

It keeps everyone cool and so much fun scooping, pouring, mixing and stirring as the ice cubes slowly release their color to the water.

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Ice game with colored ice cubes

Freeze colored water for colored ice play - Kids Activities Blog - Ice cube tray filled with colored water frozen
Let’s make colorful ice cubes!

Supplies are needed

Thrift stores and thrift stores are great places to buy ice cube trays of all shapes and sizes. Popsicle molds and small, molded plastic containers are also great for this.

How to make colored ice

Colored water ice cubes frozen in ice cube trays - Kids Activities Blog
Our frozen colored ice cubes are such bright colors!

Step 1

It is best to start freezing your ice cream several days in advance so you have plenty to hand for your activity.

step 2

I fill several ice cube trays and small plastic containers with water, add a drop or two of food coloring to each section, and load them all onto a baking sheet.

step 3

I put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze it until it sets, which usually takes about 8 hours.

Step 4

I put the colored cubes in a plastic bag that stays in the freezer and start over.

Repeat until you have as many colored ice cubes as you want

I will do this over and over until I have a stash of several hundred colored ice cubes. So the children can play a whole morning!

Stir colored ice in a bowl of water
Grab a large spoon and stir the cold water filled with colorful ice cubes.

Sensory activity while playing ice

When we’re ready to play, I take a large, clear storage container to a shaded area of ​​the yard and fill it with very cold water.

The colder your water, the longer your ice cubes will last. The colored ice cubes make the water even colder.

You will be surprised how long the ice cream lasts even on a hot day.

Scooping and pouring from colored ice activity containers
Ladles, cupcake molds, ice cube trays and more for fun, colorful water and ice games.

I equip the children with all kinds of kitchen utensils and instruments: large and small bowls for scooping ice, ladles, sieves, tongs, wooden spoons, etc.

Everything really works.

I just rummage through my kitchen drawers and cabinets until I find a variety of instruments for them to play and experiment with.

Let’s play with colored ice cubes

Pour in lots of ice and let the fun begin!

My boys can spend a whole morning playing with an activity container like this.

You scoop, pour, sift, sort.

They mix potions and they make soups, scooping bowls for everyone, and pouring their brew from one container to the other.

Children play with colored ice cream
With the melting ice cubes, children can make their own colorful creations.

It’s fun to watch the paint come out of the ice cubes and color the water as you play.

colored ice cube tray
The colors mix and take on different shades as the ice melts.

Splash around, explore and learn for hours. What a wonderful way to spend a hot summer morning.

Fine motor game with colored ice
Practicing fine motor skills with the pliers is always fun!

You might even have the option to sit back and put your feet up while your kids stay cool and happy!

If you’re looking for another great way to play with colored ice, check out our ice painting activity! That’s another one that you’ll want to try this summer!

Yield: dozens


Make these simple colored ice cubes. We use them in an outdoor play box with sensory cooling today, but they have limitless potential!

Active time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes


Estimated costs


  • Ice cube tray

  • Baking sheet

  • Plastic storage bags


  1. Fill the ice cube trays with water and add a drop or two of the desired food coloring to each ice cube.
  2. Place the ice cube trays on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about 8 hours or until frozen solid.
  3. Remove from ice cube trays and fill in plastic bags.
  4. Repeat this with the now empty ice cube trays.

More ice fun from the Kids Activities Blog

Did your kids love the colored ice cubes? Is this one of your favorite types of ice game?

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