Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's Summertime: Melting Ice Experiment

It's that time of year again: school's out for summer! That means your kids are at home and when they're not away at camp or outside enjoying the warm weather, they need something to do. So why not work a little learning into their schedule?

Give this ice melting experiment a try and you'll stay cool in the summer heat. Here's what you'll need:
  • Bowls or Dishes (for making the ice)
  • A large tray with sides
  • Salt
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring
  • Droppers or a spoon
Once you have your materials together, get started!
  1. Fill all of your bowls or dishes with water and freeze them overnight. Shallow bowls work great with this experiment!
  2. The next morning, loosen the ice in the bowls with a little bit of warm water and place them face down on your tray. A large baking sheet that has sides will work fine.
  3. Give your kiddos a small bowl of their own salt - and regular table salt works great - and have them sprinkle it over the top of the ice domes.
  4. Once you start to see that the salt is melting the ice and little ravines and crevices are forming, bust out the liquid watercolors. (Or water dyed with food coloring.)
  5. Put your liquid watercolors in small jars and place one dropper in each.
  6. Squeeze the watercolors on the ice in small sections and don't be afraid to use more than one color on an ice dome.
  7. Observe how the color highlights all of the ravines, crevasses and tunnels that are forming as the ice melts. 
  8. Discuss what reaction takes place that makes the ice melt in the way that it does. 
Once you're all finished, go outside and check out the ice light catchers you created while you watch them melt some more. Throw in another discussion about the differences in the ways that the ice melts when salt is applied and when heat from the sun is applied. 

The Artful Parent did this experiment with her girls. Check out how it went!