Ice Block Treasure Hunt

Macaroni Fun

By Catherine Fialla August 1, 2013

I saw a similar idea somewhere on Pinterest and have been wanting to try this since last summer. My kids had a ball treasure hunting and were able to stay cool in the process. I made a separate ice block for each of my children with age appropriate toys in each. This activity kept them busy for over an hour, which is saying a lot for three boys under the age of nine. I have a feeling we will be trying this again later this summer.


  • plastic container or bowl
  • water
  • small toys: plastic animals or dinosaurs, tops, rubber balls, shells, coins (for older children), etc
  • optional: ice cube tray, food coloring and water to make colored ice
  • warm water, spray bottles, paintbrushes, salt, a hammer --anything that you or your child may think of that could be used to get the toys out of the ice block

What to do:

-(Optional) Make and freeze colored ice cubes using the food coloring and water

- Fill the plastic container with about and inch of water. Add three or four toys and some colored ice cubes and freeze.

- When the first layer is frozen solid, add more water and a few more toys and ice cubes. Repeat this process until your container is full and you have a solid block of ice. It may take a couple of days to create your ice block.

- Remove the ice block from the plastic container.

- Give the kids some of the supplies for excavating the toys from of the ice. I started by giving them spray bottles, paintbrushes, spoons and water. I waited a while to give them the salt and saved the hammer for last.

- Let your kids have fun exploring and experimenting with the ice block and tools. They'll enjoy the process of discovering and digging out their treasures.

Take extra care if you choose to allow your children to use a hammer, especially if you are doing this project with more than one child. Another note-- we broke a couple of necklaces and a few other items that were made of harder, less flexible plastic. There's a chance that some of the small toys could get broken, so be sure to use toys that you and your child wont miss. Happy exploring!