Indoor activities are a must during winter and you may be surprised to know that I frequently let my kids play with water inside. This particular icy indoor winter activity was inspired by a recent outdoor trip.
We took a walk in the park during the winter break and the lake was covered with an ultra thin covering of ice. They loved poking their sticks in it and throwing rocks onto it to see it crack.
When I started to feel the need to go indoors where it was warm, I promised the kids we would make our own thin ice at home. Ice play is part of our regular summer routine (see five fun ways to play with ice) but now was our chance to make it part of our winter fun, too!
I filled several containers with a few inches of water and stuck them in the freezer. How long it takes to freeze into a thin layer will depend on your own freezer settings, but check it after an hour, and then you can gauge how much longer you need to keep it in there. You want it around ¼ to ½ inch think so it doesn't melt too quickly once the play begins.
I put a bunch of towels down for easy clean up. I gave the kids chopsticks since they didn't bring their sticks home and gave them a small bowl of stones to add to their play. Of course, they added a few toy cars, as they usually do. This activity kept them busy for quite some time and they didn't even fight over it (miracle of miracles).
It would be fun to combine thin ice play with a snow vehicle sensory tray, but we didn't have any snow that day.
If you are feeling particularly ambitious and a thicker style ice play is desired try our frozen word scramble, mining for ice treasures (via Let's Explore), building with colored ice sticks (via Creative Family Fun) or even simple ice and water play (via Toddler Approved).