Ice painting is something which I have wanted to try for a while, so decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I wanted to use our tuff spot for the activity as I was worried it would be extremely messy as the ice began to melt, and knew that our beloved tuff spot would contain all the mess created. I also like to use the tuff spot for painting with Isabelle so that we have loads of room for paper - and even then I find that we cover the paper so quickly, so I don't know how anyone gets away with just a sheet of A4!
Making the ice paints was really easy - I actually made 3 types to see which would work best. I used:
* acrylic paint
* finger paint
* food colouring
* ice cube tray
* lolly sticks (cut in half)
The acrylic paint and the finger paint were simply squeezed into an ice cube 'square' for each colour and took less than a minute to fill the whole tray. In the second tray, I added a few drops of food colouring into each square and then filled to the top with water and gave them a stir. Into every square I popped half a lolly stick which would act as a handle. Both ice cube trays went into the fridge overnight. It was so quick and easy to set up - clearing space in the freezer took the longest!
The next morning, I taped paper to our tuff spot for Isabelle. I always tape the paper down so it stays in place, and so Isabelle doesn't rip it as she walks across the tuff spot. I popped each cube of frozen paint out of the silicon trays and gathered them on one of our plates. It looked so colourful and bright that it immediately caught Isabelle's attention, although she wasn't 100% sure what they were and thought they were mini cakes with candles - giving me a rendition of happy birthday!
Once I showed her how the paints worked, she was off. She loved using the handles to hold the paints and this was something I knew would be important for her as she is still unsure of so many textures. At first she didn't like the cold paint on her hands, but by the end of the activity she was using her hands to spread some of the cubes which had melted slightly. She was so funny as each time she touched it she crinkled her nose and looked up to say "Brrr, cold mummy!" - it was nice to see that a simple painting activity could add that extra sensory element of temperature, which was great for discussion.
The different types of paint cube worked differently. The food colouring/water mix melted the quickest and so was the first one to be easy to use. The finger paint came second, and the acrylic paint was incredibly difficult to get anything out of as it didn't seem to melt at all - instead we had to press really hard, almost like a felt tip which is running out of ink. Using the three different types of paint did give us varying types of colour on the paper, and I was really impressed to see that the paper didn't get overly wet and then crinkly. This had been the one thing putting me off ice painting - I assumed it would make the paper wet and almost unusable but it didn't at all. The paints weren't wet - they melted slowly so the paper stayed intact.
Using the tuff spot for this was essential. Isabelle actually sat outside the TS for the activity, but she moved around the tuff spot to reach all the paper, and as the water based cubes began to melt she discarded them inside the tuff spot and so all mess was contained perfectly. Ice painting was so simple to set up, and I can see it being a big hit during the summer months - when the acrylic paints would work brilliantly as they melted slowly.
Thanks to Adventures of Adam for letting us link up with their A-Z of Tuff Spots - Isabelle and I have had lot of fun exploring the letter I!
(Supervision required - the paint cubes look a lot like ice lollies!)