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  • Gina

Frozen Phonics Fun

In this BLOG post I will teach you how to make this frozen phonics activity and ways to extend your learning.


Click HERE for all the materials you need!


What is a Frozen activity?

They are exactly what they sound like: a small object, in this case plastic letters, frozen inside an ice cube! It sounds silly, but I promise activities like this bring kids SO much joy! They're fun and hands-on and get kids exploring and problem solving.


You can use food coloring to make the water colorful or you can leave them as is.


You can melt the with water, smash them with a wooden mallet or just watch them slowly melt.


Whichever way you choose to "rescue" the bugs is absolutely perfect. Activities like this are inclusive. There is NO wrong way to play!!


Not only are these FUN, but there are also so many learning opportunities.

  • What color is this letter?

  • What is the name of this letter?

  • What sound does the letter make?

  • What happens when you put these two sounds together? What word does that make?

  • Make the word /pat/. Now change the /p/ sound to a /h/. What is the new word you made?

  • Let's sort: letters in your name/letters not in your name.

  • Can you point to the letter that makes the /d/ sound?

  • This letter makes the /g/ sound. Can you think of a word that begins with that sound?

Benefits of Frozen Activities:

  • Strengthen fine motor skills.

  • Increase opportunities for language & vocabulary.

  • Practice self-regulation skills.

  • Work on cause and effect.

  • Allow opportunities to problem solve.

  • Exposure to temperature and science topics.

  • Purposeful ways to practice socials skills (waiting, using manners, taking turns, sharing).

  • Bilateral Coordination (using both sides of the body).


Materials:

  • Ice cube tray or bowl

  • Trinkets that can be frozen

  • Sensory tray or bowl

  • Tools to rescue the objects


Step 1: grab a plastic or metal bowl, an ice cube tray, a silicone mold or a cake/baking pan.


Step 2: Add in your favorite trinkets (plastic animals or figurines, legos, gems, pom Poms, shells, rocks, alphabet letters- literally anything) & add water. Food coloring is optional, a few drops go a long way.


Step 3: freeze for a few hours (length will depend on size and shape that you use.)


Step 4: when frozen, place in a sensory tray or bowl, add medicine droppers, pipettes, squirt bottles or wooden mallets. Also add a few cups or a bowl or warm water.


Step 5: rescue your treasures!! Squirt, squeeze & bang away until they are free of the ice!


Other Items you can freeze:

  • Pom Poms

  • Small legos

  • Gems

  • Plastic dinosaurs, animals, bugs. unicorns etc

  • Shells, rocks, sticks

  • Flowers or leaves

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Plastic letters or numbers or shapes

  • Buttons


Fine Motor Tools that you can add into your frozen fun:

  • Tweezers

  • Tongs

  • Squirt bottle

  • Medicine dropper

  • Wooden mallet

  • Pipette

  • Measuring cups/spoons


Activities like this are an incredible way to strengthen fine motor skills. As kids squeeze and squirt and smoosh, they are strengthening the tiny muscles in their fingers and hands. Those same muscles are responsible for self-help skills like feeding yourself and zippering your coat. They are also responsible for supporting you during the writing process!


The more we can strengthen those muscles early on through sensory-driven experiences like this, the more supported children will be when they enter school-age.



The possibilities for FUN are endless. You can learn & play & create all through simple materials!! When you're done playing, put everything back in the container and freeze again for next time. They are great to have on hand for a rainy day, during playdates or on a day when you just need a little something!


While kids explore frozen activities together, they will have the opportunity to work on a TON of social skills. They will be sharing materials, sharing space, practice using their manners, waiting their turn and problem solving together!


They will also be learning from each other! Kids observe EVERYTHING! They will be watching how each person explores the bin. They will learn their own personal boundaries and maybe even be encouraged to try something they may not have before!


SO many language opportunities. SO much social skills practice. SO. MUCH. FUN.


Always monitor young children in or around water. Smal objects can be choking hazards. You get to decide what is safe and manageable in your home.



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