Ice Cube Painting

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In this activity, learners "draw" with frozen tempera paint. The ice cubes are prepared the day before by placing watered down tempera paint and popsicle sticks in ice cube trays. Learners will discover that as the cubes melt their artwork will resemble a painting. Two layers of different colors will give a special effect. Learners explore the change of "phase" from "ice" to "water" and make art in a unique way. Discussion questions are included.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
4 to 24 hours

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • ice cube trays
  • liquid tempera paints
  • craft sticks
  • foil
  • water
  • construction paper


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Designed specifically for

  • Low literacy level


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access