Melting Insect Sensory Painting

Spring Sensory Play Series by All Things Kids Bloggers

All Thing Kids bloggers are teaming up this month to bring you an exciting series on Spring Sensory Play.  Sugar Aunts shares a wonderful introduction post to stay connected with this months series Spring Sensory Playdate Activities.  Also, follow along with our All Things Kids Pinterest Board for lots of creative and educational activities for kids! Don’t forget to link up your ideas too at the end of the post!

Melting Insect Sensory Painting by Crayon Box Chronicles

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Spring is a time for growth, renewal, and new life.  Temperatures rise, flowers begin to bud, and the scent of crisp, cool rain fills the air.  As winter passes and things being to melt, the insects come out.  In celebration of springtime, we’re exploring process-based art today with melting insect sensory painting.


Insects inside ice cube tray for painting

We usually use Safari Ltd. TOOB animals for small world play, but we thought we’d try something different with ice painting.  We’ve had fun in the past experimenting with pumpkin ice painting and traditional ice painting.  With springtime upon us and insects scattering about, it seemed like a great time to explore a messy art project for kids.

bugs frozen in paint

Simply, add your insects and washable tempera paint to an ice-cube tray and freeze.  It works best if you fill the cube sections half-way, then add your critters.  Try to center the critters in the paint cubes as best you can.  Little C loved filling the cubes and identifying each color.

insects inside frozen paint cubes

Once they’re frozen, use a butter knife to pop them out.  Score one side, wiggle it, and they’ll pop right out.  Aren’t they so fun?! As they melt, you can discover what spring insects are hiding inside.  Cover your work surface with a large piece of butcher paper, then enjoy the creative journey.

Frozen pink cube with toy insect inside

The end result wasn’t our primary focus, rather the process and movement itself.  Messy play provides a variety of sensory experiences for children too. The colors are so vibrant, especially when they started to melt.  What creepy-crawly insect is frozen inside this cube?

butterfly in paint cube melting on paper

He really enjoyed all the colors melting together and swirl patters.

child painting wont frozen insect cubes

C was creating different patters, mixing colors, and smashing the frozen paint cubes together as they melted.

child painting with hand

For us, messy hands are a HUGE deal! Although my son is a sensory seeker, he does not like to get his hands sticky or wet dirty, aside from mud.  He is under-sensitive to certain sensations, craving deep pressure and constantly on the move.  Many children with Autism have sensory processing difficulties and once you understand their sensory preferences, you’ll be able to understand why he/she engages in certain behaviors or avoids others.  I set up these meaningful play experiences to help teach him how to self-regulate and process sensory stimuli, otherwise intentionally avoided.

grasshopper covered in washable paint for kids

Grasshopper was his favorite! He was racing him around the paint along side spider. 

melted paint during process art activity

The colors are so vibrant and pretty! C chose bright spring colors, aside from black, for his open-ended art activity.  Once the frozen insect cubes melted, they formed large gobs of gooey paint.

grasshopper frozen in paint cube in hand

Grasshopper was also my favorite! They’re such beautiful insects.  Spring activities are so fun!

process based painting activity for kids

This was such a fun and beautiful spring painting activity. C really took a huge step forward today with his willingness to get his hands dirty and happily attend during the process.  When you’re done, the insects easily wash clean.  Looking for more sensory crafts and activities?

Insect Ice Sensory Painting by Crayon Box Chronicles

Be sure to stop by All Things Kids bloggers this week to see their spring sensory posts too:  Frogs Snails & Puppy Dog TailsSugar AuntsAll Done Monkey, House of Burke, and Fun-A-Day.

To stay connected with our monthly series this year and see all the activities we’ve shared, visit our All Things Kids Series Tab.

LINK UP your SPRING SENSORY related posts.  Just click the cute blue monster!


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58 thoughts on “Melting Insect Sensory Painting

  1. angangelia says:

    This is really brilliant! I haven’t got down to the dinosaur play as it requires some prep work. But THIS is simple, fast and LITERALLY COOOL! Thank you! Am blogging it once i get it done!


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