Two Ice Experiments

ice cubes

Learn some basic properties of water by trying these icy experiments.

What You Need

  • Ice cubes
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic bowl
  • Thermometer
  • Water

What You Do

  1. Talk About Water’s Different Forms
    Explain to your child that water comes in more than one form. Today you are going to explore two of those forms. First, water can be a liquid, such as the water in a river or the water that you drink. Second, water can be a solid, such as snow or ice.
  2. Conduct Experiment #1
    Tell your child that the liquid form of water freezes or turns into its solid form (ice) when its temperature is 32º Fahrenheit (0º Celsius). To show your child how this happens, pour 1/2 cup of water into a small plastic bowl and use a thermometer to measure its temperature. Put the water in the freezer. Check the water’s temperature every 15 minutes. Your child will see it slowly drop. Finally the ice will freeze, and you’ll know that it’s reached 32º.
  3. Conduct Experiment #2
    Leave a few ice cubes out in a bowl. Ask your child if it is warmer in the kitchen than it is in the freezer. Of course it is! What does he or she think will happen to the ice cubes if you leave them out of the freezer? They will begin to melt. Why? Because once the temperature of the ice rises above freezing, it will return to its liquid state. Complete the experiment to verify this.
    ice cubes
  4. Talk About Ice
    Give your child a piece of ice to hold. Ask: “How does the ice feel?” (Cold, hard, and wet)
    Explain that the ice feels cold and hard because it is made of frozen water, the solid form of water.
    Now ask: “Why does the ice feel wet?” Help your child conclude that some of the ice’s frozen water melted and turned to liquid when his or her warm hand touched it.