Ice Activities

Ice activities for kids

With the change of seasons, it’s a lot of fun to look at different ways that ice behaves. Let’s face it: Ice is cool. Try out these different chilly experiments with your little one today.

Ice Sculptures

For this activity you will need: clean gallon milk jugs, salt, zipper bags, food coloring, assorted squirt and spray bottles, a dishpan (if you are doing more than one sculpture, a dishpan for each large ice cube,) a small plastic bowl. Days before you want to try this activity, fill a couple of gallon milk jugs with water and put them in the freezer to freeze into a solid block of ice.

The day before the activity, make some colored salt. Just pour a cup of salt into a plastic zipper bag, add a teaspoon of food coloring and seal the bag. Squish the bag of salt until the contents is a uniform color. If you wish to have a deeper color, simply add more food coloring. Make as many colors as you wish.

When you want to “sculpt” your masterpiece, prepare your tools. Fill the bottles with hot water. Add food coloring until the water is the color you wish. Then get the ice ready. Cut the plastic milk jug away from the ice. Place the small plastic bowl in the dishpan. Balance the ice on top of the bowl so that there is room between the ice and the bottom of the dishpan.

Sprinkle the ice with the colored salt where you wish the ice to melt. Spray the ice with the colored water. Watch as the ice changes shape and becomes a colorful sculpture. Take pictures before your masterpiece melts away.

Fizzy Ice

What happens when you combine color blending with ice and a chemical reaction? Let’s find out with fizzy ice. For this activity you will need: a large bowl, a quantity of crushed ice, baking soda, food coloring, vinegar, medicine droppers.

First mix the vinegar with food coloring. Fill several medicine droppers with different colors of vinegar. Fill the bowl with crushed ice. Sprinkle the top liberally with baking soda.

Give your child one of the medicine droppers. Drip a few drops of the colored vinegar onto the baking soda covered ice. The acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to create a carbon dioxide which results in a fun fizzy sound.

Switch the medicine droppers and let your child discover what happens when colors blend. When the ice stops fizzing, just add a little more baking soda to the top.

Ice Volcanos

This is another fun activity that combines ice, baking soda and vinegar. For this activity you will need several small round bowls, golf balls, plastic wrap, baking soda, paper plate, and vinegar.

First place the golf ball in the bottom of the small round ball. Place plastic wrap over and around the ball. Stir about 1/3 cup of baking soda into a cup of water and pour it into the bowl on top of the plastic wrap. Freeze.

After the water is completely frozen, remove the ice from the bowl. Pull on the plastic wrap until the golf ball pops out. You will be left with a good model of a dormant volcano.

Place your “volcano” on the paper plate. Pour a small amount of vinegar into the center of the volcano and watch as it “erupts.” When the eruption ends, add a little more vinegar until your volcano is completely melted.

Permanent Snowflakes

This is a great project to do after reading Snowflake Bentley. In the book, Bentley shows that no two snowflakes are alike. Unfortunately, there are lots of places in the world where it’s impossible to see snowflakes. Even in those places where there are lots of snowflakes, they melt quickly, often before you can really enjoy them.

Thankfully, you can make paper snowflakes with your child. All you need it tissue paper, crayons, scissors and any other punches you might have around the house.

First, cut a manageable sized piece of tissue paper. Try to cut a couple about the size of a sheet of paper. Fold the paper in half, and then in quarters. Finally, fold the paper diagonally and identify the point that will be in the center of the unfolded paper. Repeat with the other sheets.

Give the triangle to your child. Let him draw shapes on one side of the folded triangle. Then cut those shapes out. Try to encourage your child to leave areas along the folded sides so that your snowflake will have some strength.

Alternately, you can turn your child loose with the punches and the folded paper. Let her punch holes in the folded triangle wherever she desires. When you and your child are satisfied with the holes, unfold the paper and take a good look at your snowflake. If you wish, you can place your snowflake between two sheets of wax paper and iron them together. This protects the fragile paper and makes it easy to hang your artwork in the window.

Dino Egg Race

This is a fun problem-solving activity for several children to try together. For this activity you will need: balloons, small plastic dinosaur toys, various squirt and spray bottles and household substances such as salt, baking soda, baby shampoo and juice.

Before the activity, push the small plastic dinosaur toy through the mouthpiece of the balloon so that it is completely inside. Then fill the balloon with a small amount of water. You want the water to be slightly larger than a chicken’s egg. You want the toy to be completely inside the “egg” of ice. Make several in case they don’t freeze correctly. Place the balloons in the freezer with enough room around them to retain their round shape. Turn the eggs a couple times during the freezing process to ensure that the toy is in the center of the egg. Let the eggs freeze completely.

After the eggs are completely frozen, take them outside and peel the balloon off the ice balls. Put the eggs in a sandbox or in the grass and hand out the different bottles and items. Let the children experiment with different substances to see who can free their baby dino first.