A while back I came across a fantastic, natural, spin on using ice in water play on Reading Confetti (click the link for a great tutorial). It is a big hit at our house, and it lasts longer than little ice cubes!
Using larger containers with wide openings is key to getting them to float. The bigger the boat, the longer it will last too! We preferred using foil or plastic wrap to Reading Confetti's method of securing the stick poles while the boats froze. Simply cover the opening of the container with foil and poke the stick through the foil so it won't fall over while freezing in the water. A little warm water run over the outside of the container once they are solid helps pop the boats out immediately.
The boys loved poking leaves onto the sticks for sails and flags, and they added little animal and people figures atop the boat's surfaces. Using different sized plastic bowls and containers allowed the boys to take guesses as to which boat would melt and sink first.
Stay cool with your kids a little longer this summer!
Other water play ideas from Little Moments:
Life in the Water