DIY Artic Ice Painting

A DIY Science + Art STEM Activity

“The beauty of art is that there are no rules”- Mia Michaels

Artic Ice Painting!

WHO: Preschoolers and Toddlers with Adult Supervision

WHEN and WHERE: A winter season indoor activity.



  • frozen ice cubes, frozen solid water trays, or ice blocks
  • trays to hold different ice structures
  • assorted colored paints in watercolor and washable tempura
  • paint brushes
  • paper towels for easy cleanup


This frosty winter art activity is free form in that the experiment unfolds with imagination and artful creation driven by the child’s interests.  Just set out a wide assortment of different paint samples and colors, hand each child a brush and let them explore the icy surface. As the paint seeps into the ice, different textures, holes, and shapes will begin to appear. In one of our experiments, we found that specific paints froze on the ice and did not mix or help melt the formations at all!

Ask these Questions:

  • Does the paint make the ice melt faster?
  • How does the texture of the ice change with more paint or more exposure to room temperature?
  • Does the paint freeze on the ice?
  • What patterns does the paint make when mixed with the ice?
  • Does the water make the paint “lighter” or the color more transparent?
  • Do warm colors (yellow, orange, red) interact with the ice differently than “cool” colors (blue, purple, green)?

Children will further experience the freedom of expression, use fine motor skills, and use the power of invention in the discovery of new shapes, forms, and colors. In addition, the cold temperature of the ice allows children to use their senses to:

  • “feel” nature’s chilly effects by touching the frozen structures
  • “see” different colors mix together when applied to the ice
  • “hear” ice dripping and the sounds of the paintbrush moving across the solid texture

To find out how Full STEAM Academy integrates STEAM activities with our play-based curriculum to enhance the learning experience go to

Download the PDF version of Artic Ice Painting