Unicorns are all the rage! Their magical nature has youngsters captivated! This Unicorn Ice Cube Painting Summer Art for Kids is a great way to integrate literature and science into summertime fun! Painting with colored ice cubes is engaging and educational too! Keep in mind, this is not an edible activity. Young learners will need to be reminded not to put the ice cubes in their mouths.
Teachers all love a great read aloud. We also love when a book can tie into a great arts and crafts activity for kids! With this unicorn themed ice cube activity for preschoolers, you will be able to make great text to self connections as the kids listen to a read aloud before completing a great hands on learning experience.
What skills can be focused on during the unicorn ice activity?
The unicorn ice painting is a great summer art activity for preschoolers! I love this idea because it helps develop fine motor skills, builds upon listening skills and enables children to explore science as they watch the ice cubes melt.
Prior to ice painting, kids will love listening to you read How to Catch a Unicorn!
Reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary, provides a model of fluent, expressive reading, and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about. Reading the story will get your child so excited about the unicorn ice painting activity!
Science is easily integrated into this activity. Kids will observe how the solid turns into a liquid. You can engage in higher level thinking skills and talk about states of matter.
Creating art is important in the development of the right side of the brain. This side of the brain is essential for imagination, emotions, spatial abilities and so much more! Art education is definitely important to strengthen the right side of the brain and this activity is perfect!
Lastly, you will be developing your child’s fine motor skills as he/she manipulates the ice cube around the tray or mat. You can switch tools and have your child follow a pattern for manipulating the ice cube to help further develop fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.
How do I make unicorn ice?
- How to Catch a Unicorn book or access to the Youtube read aloud
- ice cube tray
- confetti stars
- unicorn charms
- food coloring
- popsicle sticks
- plastic mat or tray
Set these items up at least a day in advance:
- Use either an ice cube tray or silicone tray.
- Add a unicorn charm to each ice cube cell.
- Add the desired amount of stars and food coloring to the trays.
- Fill the rest of the cells up with water.
- Put popsicle sticks into each cube tray. (You may want to put the tray into the freezer for a little while to let it freeze a bit before putting the popsicle sticks in.)
- Allow the ice cubes to freeze overnight.
What do I do with unicorn ice?
- Activate prior knowledge. Ask the kids what they know about unicorns. Depending on your goals, discuss or record prior knowledge on chart paper.
- Read and discuss the book How to Catch a Unicorn. If you have access to the internet, you can also find a great read aloud on Youtube.
- Explain to your student that he/she will be trying to catch a unicorn!
- Empty the ice cubes onto a tray or mat.
- Remind students that the ice cubes are not to be put in their mouths and they shouldn’t lick their wet fingers. Ice cube painting for preschoolers and toddlers will definitely require monitoring!
- Allow the student to move the ice cube around watching the trail left behind and looking for the unicorn. Once the ice cube is completely melted, a unicorn is discovered! Yippee!
What are some other ways I can use Unicorn ice?
- Print and laminate large alphabet or number sheets for your student to trace with his/her ice cube.
- Use different tools to manipulate the ice cube like tongs.
- Introduce and discuss states of matter.
- Discuss fiction and non-fiction. Are unicorns real??
- Discuss what things impact how quickly or slowly their ice cube melts.
- Print and laminate dot to dots or just patterns or lines that your student can trace to practice fine motor skills.
- For enrichment, students can then complete a writing piece naming and describing their unicorn. They could even write about adventures they could take with their newfound friend!