Everyday, Simple Idea #27: Ice Block Play

I am sharing some of the simple, daily things I do at home as a Mom that come from my occupational therapy background.

Everyday, Simple Idea #27: Ice Block Play

This is a summertime favorite at my house.  It is quick and easy, but takes advance planning (about a day in advance).  It is ideal for hot weather days, but could even be done inside in the winter months.  While there are many great reasons to try this activity, I think the best is watching your children use their creativity and problem-solving skills while having tons of fun.

The details:



Why?  Ice block play

  • Problem-solving!  This is the number one reason I love this activity.  The nature of this task is that it takes time to achieve the goal, which allows a child a chance to really think and try different approaches to this task.
  • Sensory processing- Playing with ice is a unique sensory experience for most children.  Add in a hot summer day, an outside play area, and some water and it is a great variety of sensory experiences for any child.
  • Motor skills- This task provides a mix of large motor (gross motor) and small motor (fine motor) skills.  It all depends what tools you use in this task.  It builds in elements of strength, coordination, and bilateral skills (using two hands together).  Explore using different tools, such as hammers, screw drivers, spray bottles, or even just some sticks.
  • Cognitive skills- Being a problem-solving task, it helps build attention, creativity, task persistence, and general executive function skills.


Looking for other ideas to development creativity and problem-solving skills:

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.  www.paigehays.net