On Friday afternoon I was feeling a little low and wishing that I could have gone to the thanksgiving service of a friend, when inspiration hit me. As a former science teacher and co-founder of Science Sparks, Kerry loved making it easier for children to understand science and so I felt what better way to honour that, than get to grips with a science 'experiment' with The Boy.
I'd seen this activity on Pinterest which, while intended for Christmas, gave a great bank of ideas for playing with kitchen and craft materials to see what happens. I prepared the activity while The Boy napped and then we were ready to have fun with some ice!
I used a takeaway container and filled it with water, food colouring, glitter, sand, and sequins and then placed it in the freezer. When it was set I removed it and placed it into a tray, giving The Boy a pot of table salt and rock salt, a spoon and a water spray bottle.
He had brilliant fun making holes in the ice block with the salt and the jet of water. After a while the salt dissolved into the water and ran down the side of the block causing channels to be melted in. The Boy spotted these and picked off the ice crystals. The look of wonder on his face when he held the ice crystals in his hand, and they then subsequently melted, was amazing; sheer amazement!
Following on from this we decided to make some coloured ice cubes using food colouring. I used ice cube bags for this as I wanted to try and get the food colouring to slowly merge with the water creating ice cubes of slightly different shades. I filled the ice cube bags with water first, then inserted a straw and poured the food colouring down the straw.
Once these had frozen, I again gave The Boy the tray with the coloured ice cubes, table salt, rock salt and a water spray bottle. The effects were even more immediate because the ice cubes were smaller and therefore melted more quickly.
He was fascinated with the ice crystals that were formed by the salt water solution melting the ice, and kept pouring more and more salt onto one red ice cube to try and create a hole through the middle of it. We discussed what coloured water would appear once the ice melted, and we talked about where the salt had gone. We then discussed the colour of the water once all three different coloured ice cubes had melted and mixed together.
Science Sparks has got a fantastic selection of ice play activities which are great fun for this time of year.