Frozen Paint Jack-o-Lanterns

Today we painted with frozen paint and it was er… cool?! (Sorry – I know that was poor!) The night before I squirted some paint into an old ice-cube tray, stuck a lolly stick in the middle of each one and popped it in the freezer. To release the paint, I put an inch of hot water in the bottom of the sink and floated the ice-cube tray on it for a few seconds.


One of our recent library books is “Five Little Pumpkins” so, using this for inspiration, we set about painting our own jack-o-lanterns. I provided the boys with some white paper templates, green frozen paint “for the stem” and yellow and red to see what colour they would create for the pumpkin itself.


As you can see, “for the stem” was interpreted by N (27m) as “apply liberally all over”:


J (23m) is better at following instructions/less of a maverick and managed a lovely green stem on his right-hand pumpkin:

When you first use the frozen paint, the effect looks similar to using a wax crayon but as it begins to melt, you get more and more paint transferring to the paper. N found this very intriguing. He is very tactile with his artwork and decided to see what the paint felt like. “Cold,” he commented and realised that he couldn’t hold it with his hand for too long. He then decided that he wanted the blob of frozen paint off the lolly stick and started to rub the two sticks together to try to achieve this.


Here you can see that N has managed to break off a fair bit of the yellow paint. Interestingly, the red paint was a different brand to the other two colours and melted far more slowly.

J meanwhile was happy holding the lolly sticks and moving the paint from side to side. The holes cut into the paper for the face posed quite a challenge for him because he is very precise and did his best not to get any paint on the table. (N on the other hand got stuck in – his motto could be “the most paint in the most places”.)

After the boys had been painting the pumpkins for a while, I gave them some black paper and we put the white templates onto it. I reminded them of the page in the book where it is dark and you can see the glowing jack-o-lanterns and encouraged them to use the pumpkins as stencils and paint “the black bits”.


N finally got the blobs of frozen paint off the lolly sticks and decided that the most effective method was to smear it with both hands!

NB. I discovered that frozen paint is a great way for young children to use stencils effectively: give them a paintbrush and it inevitably goes all the way under the stencil – this does not.


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