Sight Word Ice Excavation

This sight word ice excavation is a super fun way to explore how water changes from liquid to solid and back again. It also develops fine motor skills while teaching sight words!

Sight word ice excavation activity. A fun, hands-on way to learn sight words.

My son really enjoyed this secret message ice excavation we did in the summer, so I decided to modify it a bit and do this sight word version. He had a great time with this one too.

Setting Up the Ice Activity

Supplies Needed:

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Set Up:

  1. Choose which sight words you would like to use for this activity and then find the corresponding letter beads.
  2. Fill the cups with water.
  3. Add the beads for the first word to one cup, then add the beads for the second word to the next cup. This continues until each cup has the beads needed to spell one sight word.
  4. Put the cups in the freezer and leave them there until the water is completely frozen.

Sight Word Ice Excavation

I dumped the ice out on to a tray and added a toy hammer and a squeeze bottle filled with water. Then I let my son go to town trying to get the alphabet beads out of the ice.

Sight word activity that kids will love!

If your child is overly excited by the opportunity to hammer ice (like mine), you may want to have them wear goggles to protect their eyes. As always, use you best judgement when doing an activity like this. Alternatively, using water or salt to melt the ice is just as fun. My son actually favored doing it this way and spent most of his time squeezing water out onto the ice.

Teaching sight words to kids with play.

This was also an excellent fine motor activity because he spent a lot of time using his small hand muscles to pry the beads from the ice. Plus, squeezing the bottle is another great way to work exercise those muscles.

If your child isn’t ready to learn sight words yet, you can still do this activity with some modifications. Just put random letters in the ice and they can excavate those. Make sure you talk about the letter names and letter sounds as they are working on getting them out of the ice!

Sight word ice excavation. Hands-on way to teach sight words.

My son thought this was awesome so we are going to do it again with other sight words!

Here are some more ice activities for kids from the Early Childhood Education Team!

What Makes Ice Melt Faster? by The Educators’ Spin On It
Ice Slide Segmenting Activity by Growing Book by Book
Ice Alphabet Letters by Still Playing School
Name Ice Melting Science and Art Experiment by Fun-A-Day
Slippery Ice Customizable Name Game by Life Over C’s
Magic Sticky Ice-Simple Temperature  Experiment by Capri + 3
Ice Painting by Powerful Mothering
Exploring Ice After a Storm by Tiny Tots Adventures