Friday, April 6, 2012

A Sheet of Ice + Salt + Food Coloring = Wow!

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I froze a sheet of ice to use as a mini ice skating rink, which you can see HERE.
We froze ours outside, but you can easily freeze a sheet of ice on a cookie sheet or even on a thick paper plate in the freezer. After a while our ice skating rink became a totally different activity
which was not only fun, but a cool science experiement... and beautiful too!
The scientific explanation of how salt melts ice is a bit confusing for a 3 year old so I just explained in general that salt causes ice to melt, and this experiment was a really cool way to demonstrate that!

A sheet of ice + salt + food coloring

We sprinkled salt all over the ice and poured it in piles in a few different places. I gave L a few bottles of food coloring and let him experiment with it however he wanted.

The ice started melting and cracking after a bit, especially in areas heavily sprinkled with salt and thats when it started to get really interesting! The food coloring seeped into the cracks and followed the line of the crack. The salt caused the colors to spread out like tiny branches. It was really cool!

and beautiful!
The brightness of the colors and the instant reactions of the colors with the salt,  definately played into a 3 year olds desire for instant gratification and had L playing and experimenting for quite awhile. 
I finally had to put everything up when it almost melted completely.I think this is an activity we'll be repeating!
Aren't the colors gorgeous!?...with no photo editing even! :)

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  1. So simple, yet SO smart! Thank you for sharing this! :) My little guy would enjoy this project for sure. -- I stumbled upon your page from another blogger. I'm new to the blogging world, but have had an account for a few years. I'll definitely be checking out your page again. You gained a new "follower". Please feel free to check out my blog if you're interested. *hugs*

  2. Lovin' your ideas this week at the Weekly Kid's Co-op! what a fun science/art project this is!! Can't wait to try it with my daughter!

  3. This looks sooo cool! I love the this project.

  4. I am eager to try this with my daughter. She has been big into art/science activities lately. She loved playing with chunks of ice and magnet letters...

    so I am sure adding color and salt to the mix will thrill her :) thanks

  5. Oh I love when Science becomes Art and Art is Science! Beautiful, and fun! We love incorporating Ice into our activities around here, especially during the hot AZ months, so we will definitely be trying this one! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. This is stunning! I love that you left it up to him to do with the Fcoulouring what he wished. Lovely and truly inspiring.

  7. Wow, that looks so cool. I will be trying this with my son, it looks amazing.
    thanks for the inspiration.

  8. A super activity! I am always so nervous giving the children food colouring because of the staining! You are a cool and brave Mommy!

  9. Fabulous! I made little individual "ice rinks" in metal pie pans from the dollar store. I put out bowls of salt with spoons and cups of colored water with droppers. The kids had an absolute blast!

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