Ice Experiment for Preschoolers

Estimated read time 3 min read

Today’s playful preschool theme is all about rainbows! I decided to try a rainbow ice experiment for preschoolers with the kids.

How to Set Up Ice Experiment for Preschoolers

We compared two different experimental styles in a rainbow of color.

Materials we used:

  • Ice
  • Coarse salt
  • Food coloring
  • Purple gel food coloring
  • Watercolors

Directions for our ice experiment for preschoolers:

First, you will need to freeze two big blocks of ice. I used a simple plastic lunch box that was in a rectangle shape filled with water and left it overnight. Next you will need some food coloring. I used normal liquid color as well as a purple gel coloring. No matter how much I try, I can never get my mixes to turn purple!

The rest I was able to mix from the base colors following the food coloring box instructions. You will also need some coarse salt for this ice experiment for preschoolers. 

Then, take out seven small bowls add half a tablespoon of salt to each. Also, add a few drops of coloring to the mix. Don’t be scared to use your fingers. Once you have all the colors, sprinkle a rainbow on your block of ice.

Yup, love this purple! It comes from this neon set of gel coloring.

We watched for a few minutes as the salt ate away at the ice to produce craters everywhere. The color from the salt then went into these craters and looked beautiful.

Directions for our second ice experiment for preschoolers:

Our next part of the ice experiment for preschoolers was to see if we could get a better result with some water paints. This idea was inspired by Lalymom from the ebook Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science & Math Activities. Check it out!

So here we salted our ice block with plain salt. It was kind of hard to see the ice making the craters because of the lack of color. Then, we started painting our rainbow with the water paints.

They took nicely and after a few minutes more of melting we were able to see our craters better.

Take a look at that color that this ice experiment for preschoolers created!

Painting the ice after the salt had been added was definitely a more visual experience versus the color salt.

The run off from this one was even a rainbow itself! There were many “oohs” and “ahhs” from the kids.

Of course, there was poking too as we needed to feel how the ice had melted. Yup, very rough stuff. Oh, and the colors splattered on the shirt below (though they did wash out).

We hope that you will enjoy these ice experiments for preschoolers as much as we did. See our other rainbow activities from last week!

Sort and Count Rainbow Puzzle Busy Bag

Rainbow Craft Stick Puzzle

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More awesome Rainbow themed ideas!

  • Rainbow Letter Formation Sticky Wall by Still Playing School
  • Language Activities for Preschoolers: Rainbow Climb by Growing Book by Book
  • Rainbow SensoryBin by Tiny Tots Adventures
  • Inventing Their Own Songs to Encourage Creativity by Capri + 3
  • Rainbow Domino Game by Rainy Day Mum
  • Rainbow Patterns with Blocks by Mom Inspired Life
  • Scented Rainbow Science and Sensory Play by Fun-A-Day
  • Preschool Engineering with Rainbows by Natural Beach Living
  • Design a Rainbow Technology Connection by The Educators’ Spin On It
  • DisappearingRainbow Colors by Learning to Walk
  • Creating Salty Rainbows with Preschoolers by Life Over C’s
  • Rainbow Ice and Salt Experiment for Preschool by Powerful Mothering.

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