You can also bring out a spray bottle and a squeeze bottle to pour water onto the ice to help it melt. All great fine motor activities and it keeps the kids occupied for a long, long time!! Don't forget the gloves, small hands get cold fast.
This activity works great in the water table with kindergarten and preschool students. Although if possible it works best if you give kids their own ice block and a bucket. Less accidental hammering of your neighbors fingers.
What kinds of things do you do to keep the kids busy during long winter days?
For more fine motor ideas:
Check out our fine motor page for more ideas.