Saturday, July 16, 2011

Science Play for Children - More With Salt And Ice

I pulled out the Dixie cups again this week, but this time filled with frozen water, for more heat beating, outdoor, fun.

Before the fun could begin, there was a problem to be solved. How do you get an ice block out of a paper cup?

The children tried holding the cups upside down, but the ice was frozen to the edges of the cups, and wouldn't budge.

They set to work trying to rip the cups away. That was difficult, and took more hand strength than they had.

They tried holding the cups in their hands, to melt the edges of the ice, but that was cold, and slow.

Finally, they realized all they had to do was gently pull the edges of the cup loose from the ice, turn the cup over, push on the bottom, and the ice blocks popped right out.

I let them try to build towers with the blocks, just long enough for them to realize how slippery, and difficult to work with misshapen, melting pieces of ice could be.

Then, I gave them a salt shaker, and they discovered (with guidance), they could sprinkle the ice with salt...

...hold two pieces together...

...and they would stick in place. For the science behind what was happening, check out this link.

The children were having so much fun sprinkling, and building, that I was just beginning to wonder how much salt our grass could handle, when they realized they could get each other wet, with a spray of cold water drops, by shaking the cubes in their hands.

This led to all kinds of games, like "chase each other with an ice cube", and feats of endurance, like a contest to see who could stand barefoot on a piece of ice the longest.

Which didn't turn out to take much endurance, as they discovered how even on a hot day, keeping your feet cool, makes your whole body feel cooler.

Then, they noticed something odd about the ice. "Hey Mom, how come all the ice cubes have white spots in them?"

Join us tomorrow, for Science Sunday, to find out.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy Killoran said...

Who knew you could have so much fun with salt and ice?

Phyllis said...

You win the "Coolest" mom award!

Ticia said...

I was wanting to do seeking like this last year That looks like so much fun!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

How fun - I love how you make your children to learn by trial and error. I tried but I think it works much better with a group of kids than with just one.