EXPLORE ART projects: Homemade Ice Cube Watercolors

Homemade Ice Cube Watercolors and Painting Tutorial
inspired by Parents magazine August issue

I came across Ice Cube Paints- Make It, in  August's Parents magazine (part of time for fun news towards the back)With a 4 year old that loves to paint and the summer heat really setting in making for some hot days, I thought this would be a fun and literally cool project for Cy.  

Materials: an ice cube tray, it calls for tempera paint- I used crayola washable kids paint with 10 colors, water and something thin to stir with, like a bamboo skewer or toothpick

Instructions are broken down into 3 simple steps, and yes it really is that easy!  Credit is given to Jessica Okui and the bottom of the article, which I cut off in the picture.

Step 1: put a teaspoon or dollop of each paint color in its own ice cube tray section.  I didn't measure just poured it in, less mess.

Step 2: pour water over each paint section, filling to the top.  Next stir up each color with your bamboo skewer or toothpick.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes stir each color again to mix up any paint that has settled.

Place full and stirred ice cube tray in the freezer.

Step 3:  Pop frozen ice cube paints out of tray and begin painting.

It really was that easy, I was amazed!  Here's a short critique on how they worked with a few pointers.

The ice cube paints slid out without much effort.  I brought them out right from the freezer to work on outside since it was a pretty hot day.  Next time I will set them out for 10-15 minutes prior to having Cy paint with them, they were hard to work with at first and Cy got a bit discouraged.

They were a little too frozen at first and it was hard to get them to leave any paint markings.

We decided to let them sit out for a while so they could start to melt and be easier to work with.  Cy was trying to help the process as he mashed a few colors with his kid's scissors.

This seemed to be the trick I was able to pick up the ice cubes and paint with them.  NEAT ALTERNATIVE TO PAINTING WITHOUT A PAINT BRUSH!

Cy made a few ice cube paintings, before we had cousins stop over for a visit.  The tray ended up sitting out for a little bit but then all the kids spotted it and wanted to paint.

So we got out more watercolor paper and paint brushes at this point because the ice cubes melted into regular watercolors.

And all the little artists got to work on their masterpieces.

Overall this was a fun project.  Keep a few things in mind: make sure to use watercolor paper its thicker and more durable for little artists,  let your ice cubes sit out about 10 -15 minutes so they aren't too frozen and hard to work with.  Remember you can continue the fun even as your ice cubes melt, place them back in the tray and grab a paint brush to work with. 

Have fun, stay cool this summer and find time to EXPLORE ART!

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