Sticky Notes - “Ice Cube Rescue” Science Experiment
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“Ice Cube Rescue” Science Experiment

January 3, 2024 by Emily Moore

Ice Cube Rescue: A DIY Winter Science Experiment! (Age 5-7) 

  • What do snowmen eat for lunch? Icebergers. 
  • What kind of crystals don’t break when they hit the ground? Snow, because they are ice crystals.

Winter brings the perfect opportunity to engage curious young minds in the wonders of science! Today we bring you the “Ice Cube Rescue” science experiment – where young scientists use warm water and salt to “rescue” tiny, trapped treasures. Ready to get started?

“Ice Cube Rescue” Science Experiment

Materials

  • Ice cube tray
  • Small plastic toys or objects (plastic toys, marbles, coins, etc.)
  • Warm water
  • Salt
  • A container or tray
  • Patience and curiosity
Instructions

1.     Select Your Tiny Treasures
Begin by choosing small objects or toys that can nestle inside your ice cube trays. This is a great opportunity to involve kids in decision-making – ask what they'd like to hide inside the ice cubes! Discuss the size and shape of the objects to ensure a cozy fit.

2.     Prepare the Ice Cubes

Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray with water, leaving space for the chosen treasures. Carefully place one object into each compartment, honing fine motor skills as you go.

3.     Freeze It Up

Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and embrace the art of patience as the water transforms into ice. Discuss with your child what happens to water during freezing, and why it becomes solid.

4.     The Big Rescue
Once the ice cubes are frozen solid, it’s time for the big rescue! Discuss with your child what they think will happen when they introduce warmth to the ice cubes. Will the treasures come out easily, or will it take some effort? What might help speed up the process?

5.     Experiment with Warm Water

Have your child fill a cup with warm water and explain how warm temperatures can cause ice to melt. Invite them to gently pour the warm water over the ice cubes to observe what happens: 

  • How does warm water affect the ice cubes? What do they notice about the melting process?
  • Did some treasures come out faster than others? Why do they think that happened?

6.     Get Creative with Salt

Ask your child if they think salt will affect the melting process. Have them sprinkle a pinch of salt on one or more ice cubes to observe any changes. ​​​​​​​

  • What did they discover when they added salt to the ice cubes? How did it change the melting process?

The “Ice Cube Rescue” science experiment is a fun way for kids to explore the concepts of freezing and melting as well as develop their observation and critical thinking skills. What other experiments could you try with ice cubes and different temperatures?

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