The smallest boy is thoroughly obsessed with dinosaurs at the moment – reading about them, watching them on TV and pretending to be one with loud dino roars shrieking through the house most days…
He’s now three, it’s a brilliant age, he never stops wanting to find things out and check how things work, and what they feel like and how they move. He fully throws himself into discovering everything!
With this ice play activity I thought it would be nice to combine his love of dinosaurs with a little science experiment. Ice is great for kids to play with – you can make it in all sort of colours and let them watch how it melts, touch the ice, pour warm water onto it and just learn by playing. At 3 years old the best way to learn anything is through play!
What we used to create our Jurassic era
- a selection of stones, dinosaurs and fir tree branches to create a Jurassic era.
- a plastic container
- watering can
What we did – session 1:
- Firstly we went out for a nature walk to pick up the stones and twigs we thought would be great to use for a Jurassic dinosaur land.
- Next we arranged them in the plastic container
- Then using a watering can we rained water down onto the dinosaurs until their world was flooded. (all about the drama…)
- We spent time feeling the temperature of the water and talking about what might happen when we put it into the freezer.
- Once the container was filled with water we froze it overnight.
What we did – session 2:
- Removed the ice age dinosaur land from the freezer and tipped it out of the container onto the floor outdoors.
- We then spent time feeling the ice and talking about how it felt – this is great for learning descriptive words.
- Next we poured over hot water (hand hot – not boiling!) and spent a while slowly melting the ice so the dinosaurs could escape.
This is a great activity for young children you can incorporate so many different learning opportunities. There’s conversation and language skills, maybe even start the activity by reading about dinosaurs – we particularly love Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton. There’s the learning about nature whilst on the walk to collect stones and twigs and finally the simple science experiment and the guessing of probable outcomes. Ice Play is a great activity for getting little minds thinking.