Sensory ice play is fun and exciting for small children. This small world penguin island made of real ice is great for toddlers and pre schoolers to explore the science of freezing and melting.
To set this activity up we filled some ice cube trays, bowls and a baking tray with water and put them in the freezer. I wanted harry to help with this so he could see how the water changed as it froze. We added a bit of food colouring and glitter to some of the water to make it extra exciting and we put a toy whale into one of the bowls of water.
Once the water had frozen I showed Harry what had happened to our water. I took the ice out of the containers, set up a penguin island and invited Harry to come and explore. He was sooooooo excited about playing with HIS ice.
His first remark was.......ohhhhh this is sooo cold! He lined his penguins up (which kept falling off the ice) and learnt that ice is slippery.
All the baby penguins and small ice cubes ended up in a pot of water and Harry was amazed to see the pieces of ice get smaller as the water made them melt faster.
He tried pouring the water over the bigger pieces of ice to see if they would melt.
The whale that we had put into one of the bowls of water got stuck in the ice and Harry had a great time investigating the best way to get the whale out. He tried putting the block of ice in the bowl of water but it didn't fit, so he decided to see if he could use a penguins beak to peck it out! Next he tried dropping the ice. Finally the ice had melted enough for him to pull the whale out and rescue him.
We tried picking up the big sheet of ice (from the baking tray) but it kept slipping out of our hands and breaking.
Harry used the broken pieces of ice to give the penguins a ride across glittery water left from the melted ice.
Even Daisy wanted to get involved and had a go at feeling the ice.
Harry: Age 3
Daisy: 4 months
Does your child enjoy playing with ice?
This post is part of the A-Z STEM Series where there are tons of fun science, technology, engineering, and maths activities to look through. Some activities focus on just one area, some on all four! Click on the image below to see the other activities or click here to find out WHAT IS STEM?