Bloomsbury Early Years - Ice cave
Bloomsbury Early Years

Activity Type:

Role Play, Sensory

Characteristics of Effective Learning:

Finding out & exploring

Type of Content:


Related Activities

Ice cave

Observe how water changes state in different temperatures

by Alistair Bryce-Clegg


In this activity children fill balloons with water to create large ice cubes. The children will have the opportunity to observe how the liquid changes state when it transforms from water into ice. They will also get a clear idea of how long that process takes.

What you need

  • Balloon

  • Water

  • Food colouring

  • Freezer

  • Scissors

  • Small world figures and toys

What you do

  1. Fill the balloon with water.

  2. Add a few drops of food colouring to the water in the balloon and tie the top tightly.

  3. Place the balloon in the freezer for four to five hours.

  4. Once the balloon has begun to free, but is not completely frozen, take it out of the freezer.

  5. Use the scissors to cut off the balloon over a sink, revealing a balloon-shaped ice cube. Drain away any unfrozen water.

  6. Use your balloon ice cave for small world play and exploration.

What you say

  • What do you think has happened to the water?

  • What do you think will happened to the ice if it gets warm?

Ready for more?

  • Make multiple ice caves in different colours and stack them together to create an ice kingdom.

  • Make your ice caves outdoors if the weather is cold enough. The children can experiment with water when they cut open their balloons.

Look, listen and note

  • Places, objects and materials

  • Environments

  • Being imaginative (ELG17) Design & technology Role-play Representing their own ideas through the arts Creating and Telling Stories

Where to go next: Ice Pendants
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