Melting Rainbow Glaciers (Sensory Play)

I grew up in Alaska. Yes, Alaska. Sometimes when I was a kid and went outside in the winter, my snot would freeze. Yeah… that’s how you know it’s cold out.  A few years ago I took my pet unicorn on a trip up north to see where I grew up. While we were there she was able to see her first glacier. She was intrigued. I mean, she did keep calling it an avalanche… (bless her heart)… but she loved it all the same. One evening we were outside sipping hot chocolate with my family and just enjoying the scenery, the sun was setting. It casting pinks and purples onto the water and making sparkles everywhere. It was magical. My unicorn made a comment that it would be cool to see a rainbow glacier. It would be so bright and colorful that when the sun shined on it, it would cast rainbows all over the mountains like a giant sun catcher and swirl colors into the sea as it melted. I thought it was a beautiful idea.

Well, last night we were reminiscing about our trip to Alaska and had a brilliant idea. What if we created a way to make out own mini rainbow glaciers? So we did… and it’s simple. Check it out:



Here’s what we used:

– A plastic tub

– Plastic bowls full of water for freezing glaciers

– Arctic animal toys

– Model trees

– Salt

– Food coloring (or liquid water colors)

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Here’s what we did:

1.) First, we filled 5 different sized plastic bowls with water and place them in the freezer to make some glaciers.

2.) Next, we filled our plastic tub up with about 2-3 inches of water and stirred in a few drops of blue coloring.

3.) When our glaciers had finished freezing, we arranged them in the “ocean” in our sensory bin.

4.) Then we arranged the plastic animals and trees on our glaciers and around our sensory bin.

5.) Sprinkled the glaciers with salt (we used coarse salt), and let it begin to melt into the glaciers.

6.) Using food coloring we began to drip colors into the salt. (Watch as your glaciers begin to melt with rainbow colors!)

(The “ocean” water in your bin will begin to turn brown. Once our glaciers started to get bright and beautiful I took out the toys and dumped the dark excess water into my bathtub. Then continued to color our glaciers.) 

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