Painting with balls of ice | teens in early childhood education

Over the summer, seventeen year old Ms. Lauren has been working with me to help get ready for the new year in preschool. She has been helping me set up the classroom and get things organized. One of Ms. Lauren’s assignments this summer was to choose an activity she would like to do with Wy before the end of summer. Ms. Lauren wanted to do something along the lines of marble painting. Since it has been so hot outside and since we have seen so many other ideas having to do with ice, Ms. Lauren decided to paint with ice balls instead of marbles…

Wy and I had played with water-filled balloons the night before and then we put them in the freezer overnight so they would be ready for Ms. Lauren the next day. Some of the balloons were also filled with tempera paint. I used up the tempera paint left over from my home made dot dabbers

When Ms. Lauren arrived the next morning, she popped the frozen ice “balls” out of the balloons…

Once she got almost all of the ice balls out of the balloons, she put them back in the freezer until she was ready to use them for her activity later in the morning…

In the end, she had clear ice balls and some yellow, red, and blue tempera paint ice balls.  Well, they were kind of egg-shaped but you get the idea…

For set up, Ms. Lauren set out bottles of tempera paint, the ice balls, and a large box with paper inside.  It was very, very hot outside so she had to move it along because the ice was melting…

Ms. Lauren chose to squirt some paint on the paper to roll the ice balls through. Then she let Wy help her toss the ice balls into the box.  Wy loved tossing the ice balls into the box…

The tempera paint ice balls left red paint all over your hands (because they were melting so quickly in the heat) but no worries – Wy simply wiped his hands off all over his shirt and then his shorts. Problem solved!!

Next, Lauren and Wy took turns picking up each end of the box to make the ice balls roll across the paper. The box was bigger than Wy but he love lifting his end up high…

Before long, Ms. Lauren stepped aside and invited Wy to run back and forth from one end of the box to the other and lift up each end to make the ice balls roll back and forth. Wy liked doing this all by himself or with Lauren as a partner. Either way was quite fun…

The ice balls didn’t really leave much of a print on the paper. They mostly just got the paper super wet but since Ms. Lauren added a little paint to roll the ice balls through, we had a little more color in the end.  It didn’t matter to Wy whether we had color or not, he was loving the lifting and rolling…

Ms. Lauren also invited Wy to try drawing with the ice balls on the paper and he did give it a quick go but this wasn’t as fun as lifting the big box so he didn’t stick with it more than a few minutes…

After Wy was all finished lifting, rolling, and drawing (we switched out the paper a few times), then Ms. Lauren set the papers out to dry and tossed the ice balls out into the grass to let them finish melting….

After everything was all cleaned up I asked Ms. Lauren what she thought of the activity. She replied, “I thought it was really fun!”  That is exactly as it should be!

Classified: Mom

By |2011-08-06T23:17:18+00:00August 6th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Marilyn S August 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Welcome to my world! Working with teens and little ones! We call them the “Littles” and the “Bigs” in our preschool/high school setting. I love their enthusiasm and creativity! Great learning experience here…not everything goes the way we expect and you never know how the littles will respond….
    Thanks for the post!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      I think you have the best job of all! I would love to work with teens more often. If any of your teens want to share one of their activities here with me as a guest – let me know.

  2. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow August 7, 2011 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Oh, Deborah! You’ve combine two of my favorites! Balloons to make those ice balls… and using them to make BIG ART! Absolutely love this 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 7, 2011 at 8:30 am - Reply

      We hadn’t done a whole bunch with big art so this was a fun activity to wind up our summer!

  3. Colette August 7, 2011 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Love this idea… looks like I found what my kiddo’s craft will be this afternoon!

  4. Teresa August 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    great Cool! idea….
    Have you been able to make the infant lesson plan template of oct. 2010 available to print in MS Word?
    Sorry to keep asking, but the new school new is approaching and I need to see the form.

  5. Sarah August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am - Reply

    We get community service workers from the high school next door to our school and they can be a great help if you remember that they are not adults and require specific instruction and monitoring.

  6. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas August 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Oh this got me thinking!!! LOVE the idea of freezing paint in balloons and doing some big art! So much fun with frozen paint lately and this is big, messy fun! What a great idea Ms. Lauren came up with!!!!

    Thanks for linking this up to the Sunday Showcase!Hope to see you link up this weekend on the Sunday Showcase. Looking forward to seeing what you have to share.


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 13, 2011 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Bernadette:)

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