Mix it up: Paint With Ice

Put away your paint brushes and open up the freezer, its ice painting time!  Paint with ice helps kids practice their color recognition and counting skills while observing paint go from a liquid state to a solid state, then back to liquid again.

As your child paints, discuss the process of freezing. What happened to the paint when they put it in the freezer? What’s happening to the paint when it’s exposed to the warm air and paper? What does the paint feel like as it melts?


  • Liquid tempera paint
  • Ice cube tray
  • Craft sticks
  • Paper
  • Plastic wrap



Next, pour the paint into the ice-cube tray.  I had Cayden identify each color and it’s placement (shh, another lesson snuck in, tee-hee).

Then I had him put a craft stick into the middle of each paint cube.



The sticks should be able to stand up on their own, but if they won’t stay up, try covering the tray in plastic wrap. Then poke the sticks through the wrap for extra stability.


 Tip: Fill cubes going horizontally, originally I did it diagonally and it was hard to work with the plastic wrap.  Wrap just two colors at a time across from each other, it’s easier. 

Next, carefully place the ice-cube tray in the freezer, and let it sit until the paint is frozen solid. When the paint cubes are frozen, it’s time to paint! Also, try to freeze only yellow and red paint cubes, and let your child discover what results from using those colors together. As they melt, the paints will magically mix into orange!

That’s as far as we got today, so stay tuned for Cayden’s mini-Picasso masterpiece!

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2 thoughts on “Mix it up: Paint With Ice

  1. SandraG says:

    Great tutorial – quick question, do you add any water into the cube trays or will be working with just the frozen paint? Where can I pick up the needed paint? Thanks!!


    • crayonboxchronicles says:

      Thanks! No water, just straight tempura paint (washable)! I bought it at Michaels, $1.99 each. There are two kinds, one washable, one not. We did one tray of standard colors, then one tray of mixed colors (color mixing lesson). 🙂


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