Land of Ice and Mud


One of the best ways to help our emotions flow as needed is by stimulating the other senses and allowing for imaginative play to be an outlet for what we cannot share with our words. A favorite of mine is feeling the cool sensation of ice in a tub. The ice itself is so transformational given the time and elements it is exposed to. It goes from a cold, solid form that’s so refreshing to handle, taste, crush. To a wet, flowing, liquid that can transform elements around it.


  • Ice… as much as possible
  • Container… a tub, bucket, bowl, whatever is available
  • Small Manipulatives… pebbles, acorns, small toys
  • Clothing Optional 😉 should be ok with getting whatever clothes worn wet and muddy



  1. Place all the ice into your container
  2. Add the small manipulatives, maybe hiding some deep in the ice
  3. Place somewhere outside where the magic can happen
    1. Where other elements are close by to add to the play
      1. Dirt, grass, flowers, stones, sticks, etc
    2. A quiet place to rest aside from the main activity space may be helpful… a blanket to relax on works well
  4. Allow for free play
    1. No need for much adult guidance unless your little one would like you to join the play and you genuinely want to join in yourself
    2. Mainly watch and listen to see what unfurls
  5. The play might move/change
    1. Pieces may be taken out of the tub: ex. The characters start foraging throughout the garden, the ice comes out of the tub and is watched as it melts, or popped in the mouth for a taste
  6. Once the ice has mostly melted into water, offer mud play and if accepted dump the ice onto a nearby patch of dirt
    1. This is when things can get even more full of sensorial exploration… clothing optional 😉


Happy Exploring in the Land of Ice and Mud!

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