Ice gems

Like most of the country, it has been cold here!  We’ve missed several days of school due to snow, ice, and extreme cold temperatures.  Last week, we were fortunate enough to have two back to back school days to explore this awesome process that I am going to share with you today.  Yesterday I showed you how we used pipettes to fill egg cartons with colored water.  Well, what I didn’t tell you was that we left the filled egg cartons outside over night and what we found the next morning was pretty spectacular…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

The children were thrilled to open their egg cartons to discover these gorgeous little ice gems…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

We set out a large metal tray on our table, along with some tweezers so that the children could explore their icy little treasures.  The tray helped to contain the water as the ice cubes melted…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

The children used their tweezers and their fingers to pluck their ice gems out of the egg cartons.  Keeping the slippery little gems in the tweezers was quite a feat…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

For some of our children, this was a test of focus and determination.  They were going to get each and every one of those gems out of that tray, no matter what…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

Once the children had their gems out of their tray, they were free to explore them however they chose.  For many, just getting the gems out of the trays was rewarding enough.  But one little guy didn’t stop there.  He stayed with the gems for the longest time!  He was fascinated by the way the melting gems formed rainbows all over the tray…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

He continued to play long after all the other children lost interest.  We got out paintbrushes for him so he could continue to mix and swirls the colors together…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

He gathered all of the gems into a large pile in the middle of the tray and then began sorting them by colors into cups…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

When he ran out of cups he said, “Mrs. Stewart, we need more cups!”  So we gave him more cups!  The gems were melting, of course, but he didn’t care.  There is just something magical about watching a child so invested in his play.  At the end of the day, he was still so enthralled with those gems that he ended up taking all of the leftovers, that hadn’t yet melted, home with him…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

This was a wonderful process for all of the children, but it’s so exciting to see even just one child who finds the process exceptionally meaningful…

Ice gems by Teach Preschool

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By |2014-02-08T07:00:02+00:00February 8th, 2014|

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. kewkew February 8, 2014 at 8:47 am - Reply

    What fun! They do look like little gems. These would be so much fun for us to do this week as our new unit is J:Jewels.
    I would love if you could stop by and share on Toddler Idea Tuesday.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Rhythm February 8, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

    Now that is some fabulous exploration!

  3. Casey Best February 8, 2014 at 11:35 am - Reply

    This is how teaching should be done! I applaud you for actually being about what the children want and need instead if rushing them through an activity to stay on schedule or meet a certain standard. I hope all your students and parents appreciate you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      I have the best parents ever:) I appreciate how much they trust me and allow me to be flexible in my approach too. Thank you for your sweet comment!

  4. Lynn March 2, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Hi, I came along your blog via Pinterest. What wonderful things you teach all of us no matter what age we may be. I was so impressed by this little guy and his expressive imagination. Very hard for children today to use their imaginations so well !! What a fabulous teacher he has to allow him to continue with his interest and creations !! Not many teachers would have done this. Most would have said ” time to clean up” once the gems started to melt !! It’s wonderful to see great teachers still do exist and this will help him so much in the future !! Thanks for all your wonderful shares !! God bless !!

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