A fun scientific investigation for kids on a hot day: freezing and then melting objects in blocks of ice!
Using basic tupperware boxes half filled with water, the children went around to find things that they wanted to freeze and dropped them in. We did this many times, using various sized containers and all sorts of objects, from flowers to necklaces, sequins to dinosaurs! I love the beautiful flower tub that Cakie filled (even though she did pick the flowers, grrr!)
A few hours later and they were desperate to see what had happened to the water and objects. “It’s ice mummy!” “It’s so hard!” “It’s very cold” “I can’t get them back out, they’re stuck in it!”
This block had Cakie’s favourite play characters stuck in it! Poor Peter Pan and Wendy suspended together in the ice.
Is that a nail I spy along with the toy dinosaur?!
The next mission became “how are we going to get these things OUT?” I didn’t offer any suggestions, I just watched and was interested to see what their strategy would be! First attempt involved garden canes and a lot of fruitless prodding.
Then out came the forks and some ice was gradually chipped away from the edges, but not enough to reach the toys and flowers.
Then Cakie had the idea to drop the ice blocks into the paddling pool! She noticed very quickly that the blocks began to melt at the edges. “It melts in water Mummy!” After a short while she was too impatient and pulled them back out to examine on the patio again.
But by now the toys were beginning to emerge and the fun began! Back to the forks and more chiselling around the edges. “They’re coming out! Look!”
She was thrilled to be able to reunite Wendy and Peter Pan (who she claims are deeply in love and about to get married!)
They have loved this investigation so much that I’ve found Cakie freezing things all by herself the past few days! I found my gorgeous silver napkin ring suspended in ice in the freezer along with a whole host of favourite toys, feathers and tid bits!
We have another ice post on the way because of this new obsession, this time linked to learning colours! Stay tuned 🙂
- knowledge and understanding: investigating how water turns to ice and then melts again (changing materials from liquid to solid to liquid again), using thinking skills to try and solve problems, observations and predictions, cause and effect, combing materials to make a change e.g. salt and water added to ice
- physical: gross and fine motor skills in chiselling, chipping and bashing at ice
Cakie: 3 years 7 months
Pop: 2 years 2 months
Bean: 13 weeks
See our other ice play activities here!
Rainbow Prams says
Oh wow that’s fantastic! And how clever to pop it in the paddling pool! I feel you may have a mini scientist on your hands! xx
That looks like so much fun!!! I had seen this before but how lovely with the flowers and the beads!! I think it’s about to cool down around here so I think I might keep this in mind for the next hot weather batch we have!
anastasia @ healthymamainfo says
How cute and how girly! We did a similar activity about a year ago, so it’s time to repeat it and this time I want to make it all girly and pink, too. 🙂
My preschool students experimented with objects in ice back in the winter. They loved working to get the items out of the ice. Such a great experiment to see the science behind freezing and melting. http://www.brennaphillips.com/experimenting-with-ice-in-preschool
I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to try it with my daughter.
I love the selection of items in your ice blocks – the flowers look wonderful! I have done this a couple of times with my Nursery class at school and feel inspired to do it all over again – thank you for the reminder! I’m just about to make some of your gold dough for school tomorrow – thank you for so much inspiration : )
Brilliant! Just brilliant!
JDaniel4's Mom says
Wow! These are so pretty and look like fun to play with.
It’s supposed to be close to 100 degrees in the next week, so I see this in our future. Thanks for the great idea.
I froze my girls’ magnetic letters! I built simple three-letter “mystery” words with the ice blocks and as they melted L loved trying to figure them out. It was a great way to stay cool on this crazy hot day! Next time, I am going to try freezing colored-water as well.
Emma @mummymummymum says
I love this Anna! So pretty! xx
Awe…I want to come play at your house!! ;’)