Friday, July 15, 2011

Rainbow Ice - Tutorial

We spend a lot of time outdoors in the hot, humid North Carolina summers. Little Sweets' favorite toy last summer was her water table and it's proving to be again this year. A few weeks ago, I decided to add something different to her water table -- Rainbow Ice!

She loves these Rainbow Ice Cubes and was so sad when they were all melted. Next time I'll make a bigger batch!

This would be a great kids' summer camp idea. Older kids can have a great hands-on (literally) learning experience about mixing primary colors and the changing states of matter from liquid to ice. Science or Art Class?

Here's what you need to make Colored Ice Cubes:

Color Bath Dropz by Crayola
ice cube trays and/or old plastic bowls, bath toys, or anything you can fill up with water
3 large bowls
spoon or ladle
cookie sheet that fits in your freezer

Make sure that your cookie sheet will fit in your freezer before you start this project. You will make life much easier on yourself if you do it now. Also, your plastic "molds" should be cheap and/or old just in case they crack when you drop it on the ground as you're taking it out of the freezer. (I'm speaking from experience.)

The star of the show here is Crayola's Color Bath Dropz. You can buy these at Target or Wal-Mart in the baby bath section for a few dollars. They are non-toxic, fragrance free and are meant for children at least 3 years of age. Obviously, they're meant for the bath and Rainbow Ice would be fun for bathtime, too! But why not add them to your water table or baby pool?

Fill each bowl with about 3 or 4 cups of water. No need to measure but the less water, the more intense the color. This is a good thing, but if you spill on your way to the freezer, you might end up with a blue carpet. Remember these Dropz are intended to be used in a bath tub with much much more water.

After a few minutes, the Dropz will be dissolved. You don't need to use hot water and there's no need to stir.

Now put your empty "molds" on the cookie sheet to make it easier to move to the freezer without spilling all over the place. Then, carefully pour some water into each mold. Remember what we learned in grade school about mixing primary colors to make secondary (and tertiary) colors? Just fill it halfway with yellow and the rest of the way with red if you want to make orange, for example. No need to stir.

I filled up each bowl with 2-3 ladles of water and each compartment of the small ice cube tray with 3-4 spoonfuls of water. Don't try to pour your big bowls of water to fill these tiny trays. =)

Then move your cookie sheet into the freezer (see why you want to make sure that cookie sheet fits in your freezer before you start this project?) and wait until they're frozen.

I loved how these little ice cubes looked, but they melted so fast outside that next time I'll probably just do the bowls. The Rainbow Ice will lose a bit of its brightness when frozen, as you can see here:

Once they're frozen, unmold them (you may want to put some warm water in the tray to loosen a bit first). Fair warning: your hands will probably be rainbow-colored when you touch them but it easily washes off.

Then rush outside to play or store in freezer zip-top bags for later. Put them in your little sweeties' water table, baby pool or bathtub and get your camera ready!

She was so excited that the water turned purple (Mommy's favorite color)!

The blue star ice cube was her favorite.

I would love to see what shapes and colors you can come up with. Let me know if you make these and show off your pictures!


  1. I love this idea! It is so nice and refreshing to see kids have fun in creative ways and not by something that either uses batteries or a power cord.

    Look how much fun she is having. So precious!

  2. You should do this as a playdate! So cute and we need some "sensory" playdates!

  3. Wow!! this is too cool!! I bet my daughter would love this! Looks like yours is having a blast!! i'm pinning it!! Great pictures, by the way!!

  4. That looks so fun! I'm always looks for ways to teach my daughter by doing rather than just telling. We'll be keeping this one in mind for the weekend!

  5. Fun idea! It's a great way to teach how colors combine to make different colors too!
    Jenn :)

  6. oooo! very cute idea! I've never heard of rainbow ice before....might have to try it!

  7. These look like a lot of fun! My niece and nephews would love these. I have to admit though, I'd never heard of a water table before. Is this the modern-day kiddie pool?

  8. My kids are gonna love this! Come see a pair of hot pink deer antlers!

  9. Fun idea! They turned out so vibrant and pretty!

  10. So cute! But did she try and eat them? They look so tempting.

  11. I'd love for you to share this at Fun For Kids Friday. Love the colors and how bright they turned out.

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

  12. Fantastic idea - thanks for sharing. I will definitely be doing this for my kids next summer!

  13. Cuuuuuuuuuuuute!

    I'm a new follower from the Sunday Scoop! :o)

    For Love of Cupcakes

  14. So awesome! Will be trying soon!

    Would love for you to share at Calling all Crafters!

  15. Thank you for commenting on the vanilla extract.
    The colored ice is brilliant (not using food coloring that would stain, right?) I can't wait to make some tonight. Glad I popped over you have some great ideas, thank you.

  16. oh man, my kids would love this! how creative! Found you on TT&J.

    I would love for you to link this up at my weekend Link Party, Once Upon a Weekend. This weekend is my first-ever party, and I am so hoping people will participate! :)

    Here’s the link if you’re interested:

    Also, if you have a list of favorite link parties, I’d love to be included on Fridays. Thanks a ton!

  17. Tricia,

    This is the best idea ever, how fun. My kids would have a blast playing with this too. Your daughter is precious, she is having so much fun.

    I'd also LOVE to invite you to check out my weekly parties. I would be so happy if you linked up, this and any other fabulous project you are working on.
    Stop by anytime to say hello!!!
    Hugs, Bella :)
    **AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After Any projects, recipes, diy welcome.
    **PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. All your party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome at my NEW party.

  18. How clever and kids will love it! Stopping by from {market yourself monday}

  19. What a cool idea. I'm going to have to do this. How easy!

  20. I'm so grateful that you linked up in this week's Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) This awesome post totally rocked the party!

  21. Such a great idea & so fun. :) Following from Sumo‘s Sweet Stuff link party. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. Hope to see you there.


  22. Cute idea!!

    I've frozen small toys in ice blocks to let the kids play archaeologist, which is fun too.

  23. so cool and looks so fun

  24. Thanks for posting this!
    I'll be doing this this week!!!!

  25. Glad you're all enjoying this summery activity for the kiddos!

    MyHideaway--yes I think a water table is the "new" kiddie pool. The tables are basically a way for the little ones to play with water as a sensory tool. They don't have to get soaked to play (though they usually do)!

    Fabric--she didn't try to eat it, but some kids might. I wouldn't worry too much if she did though, since she does swallow the colored bath water sometimes. =)

    Cristy--yes, I think this is better than food coloring since it doesn't stain. It will color your hands when you hold the ice since it's more concentrated than it would be in the bath tub, but it washes right off.

    Melissa--I LOVE this idea! I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was younger so I'm definitely going to do that next time!

  26. Hey! This is so fun! Just wanted you to know that this post will be featured in my Ice, Ice Baby Round-Up! Swing on by Happy Home Fairy and pick up a button - and let all of your friends know! :-) Thanks for having such a wonderful blog!

  27. Hey there! Just posted about this on Craft Gossip! Thanks for being such a creative mom!
    Here's the link:

  28. Oh she looks like she's having so much fun!!

    I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like!

  29. Absolutely love it! I may use this for one of my theme weeks. Would that be ok with you? I will definitely link back to you, if I can use your idea.:)


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