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Ice Breaker Experiment

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This project originally started out with a science experiment that I thought would be a little difficult for my kids to understand. Did  you know salt water does not freeze? The suggestion for the experiment was to freeze regular water in half of an ice cube tray and in the other half freeze salt water. After a couple of hours when you pull the ice out, you would see that the regular water melts and the ice water does not melt. So, I came up with this variation for the kids to play around with....

What You Need:
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Little bowls or plates
  • Mini toys or small objects
  • Container - size depends on how big you want your block of ice to be
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: random tools or kitchen gadgets


Step 1: Make a large ice block in a large container (mine was not huge, just a storage container). i filled it with cold water and mini toys and/or objects (mini Lego men, pen top, crayon, a glow in the dark snake, money - some sink, some float, just stuff that is on hand!). I added lots of ice to speed up the process and then put it in the freezer. The ice helped keep the toys separated and at various levels and it froze in just over 1.5 hours. 

Step 2: I started out giving a small bowl with a piece of ice to each child. Then I gave them some sugar to sprinkle on the ice to see what happens

Step 3: Then I gave them some salt. Wit the salt the ice starts melting quickly. We talked about what they saw and made sure they all noticed the ice melting quickly.

Step 4: After experimenting, I pulled out the big block of ice that I created and put it on the table in front of them. They saw their toys and the money and got really concerned and wanted to get them out! So, I had them tell me what they could do to get them out.

They tried knives...

Then they decided that forks might be better. I had to give each of them a turn to chip away at it because they were getting a little scary. They really enjoyed this part a little too much!

I reminded them of the little ice cubes and then they asked for the salt.

They each got a turn to sprinkle (and they wanted to keep stabbing it with the forks, too.)

It was a slow process, but they had a lot of fun. Once it started melting, it really started shrinking.

Next time I am going to make a really huge block of ice or make multiple ones of the one above and let the kids at them in the backyard. The 20-30 minutes we spent on breaking up this ice block was not enough for them!

It was fun for all who watched and participated!

This is the underside once we were able to flip it over.


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  1. Such a fun idea! Thanks for sharing. I found you on blogfrog and am now a follower. My blog is www.gfinkfamily.blogspot.com.


  2. great idea! come on over and link up to MMM :)

  3. Oh how fun!
    My kids are 18 and almost 13, I use to do this kind of stuff with them when they were little. I am so glad I did.Not only for the wonderful memories but, they are both now really facinated with science and how things work.

  4. I did a similar experiment with my kids where you lay a piece of string across an ice cube and shake salt on it.

    The salt melts the ice and the water surrounds the ice cube. Then there is more water than salt and it dilutes enough to refreeze over the string and you have an ice cube necklace!

  5. Cassiopeia - that sounds like fun, too. I am going to have to try it out! Thanks for sharing!

    C.R.A.F.T - I'm on my way over!

  6. WOW! I LOVE this experiment! Wow! Wow! Wow! My son is 2.5yrs, but I reckon he would be foxed by this. Brilliant.

    Thank you so much for linking up at Kids Get Crafty! Look forward to seeing you again next week?

    Red Ted Art

  7. So creative!! My little one would LOVE this! Thank you oh so much for linking up this sweet creation at the FABULOUS FRIDAY FINDS party today!! I hope your weekend is wonderful!
    ~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

  8. This looks super fun!! Kids (and adults too) remember so much better when the process is fun!

  9. This is such a fun idea! My boys would love this! Ive been looking around your blog and am very impressed with all your craftyness.

    Id like to offer you to be a featured guest blogger at Everyday Mom Ideas. If you are interested just let me know. We would love to have you.


  10. What a great activity! Thanks so much for linking up. I'll be featuring you tomorrow. Feel free to grab a featured button. Have a great day!

  11. What a great idea!! I can't wait to try this one with my daughter! She will have a field day!



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