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If there is one activity I can get you to save and prepare for your little ones at home or in the classroom; it’s this one! Water and ice are amazing sensory experiences for our young learners. I know that my 2 1/2 year old daughter still plays longer and is more engaged with water or iced based activities. Because I know this about her, I wanted to combine some of her favorite sensory experiences to create a fun and engaging Valentine’s Day sensory and science activity! It does take a few hours to prepare this activity but I promise you the time spent playing with this is completely worth the prep time!
If you have ever played with water beads before, then you know how amazing they are! I must admit that the first time I introduced them to Little Miss Toddler, I was more captivated than she was! They’re squishy, cold, slimy, and just plain fun! I decided to use just pink water beads that I ordered from amazon to keep the Valentine’s Day theme at the forefront. You do not have to use just pink to create this Thaw a Frozen heart activity but I found it helped engage her even more!
To prepare this activity, the afternoon before I poured 1 tablespoon of water beads into a bowl and covered it with 3 cups of water. I then just left it on the counter for the water beads to grow! So easy! After the water beads grew in the water, I transferred the beads into two silicone heart baking cups that I purchased from the Target Dollar Spot. I added half water beads to half water to make sure that the water beads would freeze throughout the entire heart. I placed the two molds into the freezer and kept them there overnight. You do not have to freeze the molds for an entire night, an hour will do just the trick if you’re in need of an engaging activity quickly!
The next morning, I took the frozen hearts out of their molds and placed them into a silicone tub with the remainder of the pink water beads. I then set up some of our favorite Learning Resources Fine Motor Tools, silicone funnels, a bowl of water, and more syringes to help thaw the frozen heart. I challenged her to thaw the frozen hearts and get the water beads from their icy blocks. I guided her to use her tools to try and unfreeze the ice by transferring the warm water using her fine motor droppers and spoons to thaw the frozen heart.
As we continued to thaw the frozen heart, I added a small bowl of salt to help speed the process along. We watched how the salt was able to unfreeze the ice even faster along with our warm water. Little Miss Toddler was so into it that she added the scooping into another bowl all by herself! I was such a proud mama bear! I promise you this one science and sensory activity will be such a hit throughout the month of February or adapt it and use it the entire year with a slight change of water bad color or silicone molds! This activity is full of new sensory experiences, fine motor skills, following directions, observation, and leads to such imaginative free play! I hope you are excited to try this along with us!
Materials Used in This Activity:
Are you looking for more activities to do with your toddlers or preschoolers throughout the month of February? Make sure you check out my February Learn and Play Activity Packet that has 10 standards based activities and more activity ideas for the entire month by clicking here!