Learning Activity: Ice Cube Bead Necklaces

Want a cool learning activity to pass the time? Create ice cube bead necklaces to cool off your little “fireballs” of energy! Not only is this cool fun, but kids practice motor skills and sequencing, and get a peek into different states of matter. With this activity, your child can watch water (liquid) turn to ice (solid) and back into water. Throw in following verbal instructions for sequencing and small muscle control for beading, and you have an exciting activity until the heat melts it away!

What You Need:

  • Ice cube trays – assorted shapes and sizes
  • Plastic straws
  • Scissors
  • Pitcher
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Large bowl
  • String or ribbon that can get wet
  • Food coloring or fruit juice

What You Do:

  1. Pull out a few ice cube trays. If you have some that are in fun shapes, even better.
  2. Next, cut plastic straws to the width of each cube spot, approximately 1-2 inches. Make sure to have one straw cutting for every cube spot.
  3. Fill a pitcher with water. Then fill the trays, leaving a little room for straw space.
  4. Add one straw clipping to every cube spot. Do your best to make sure the straw clipping is the width of the entire cube spot.
  5. Add a few drops (not too much!) of food coloring or fruit juice to the water in the tray. Remember that the water should not be filled to the very top of the tray – leave room for straw and coloring weight to avoid overflow.
  6. Place ice cube trays in the freezer. Now is a great time to discuss that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 Celsius. If you will be around while the water is freezing to ice, keeping track of how long the water takes to freeze is a good way to practice scientific observation.
  7. Cut string to into a few sections long enough to form necklaces, and tie a large knot on one end of each, so that the ice will not slide off once strung.
  8. Prepare for the ice activity by getting into bathing suits or clothing suitable for getting a little (or a lot) wet.
  9. Remove ice trays from the freezer and loosen into a large bowl. Go outside before you begin to string your necklaces.
  10. Instruct kids that they must string according to the pattern you call out. For example; first cube red, second cube blue, and so on, until a specific pattern with colors is created.
  11. Now have your child repeat the pattern until the necklace is full, ready to tie and wear. Enjoy as a cool accessory on a hot summer’s day!