Experimenting with Freezing and Melting
You may know that you can freeze water for your ice cubes but did you know you can pop toys in the freezer too? One of our favourite experiments in Winter and Summer is to place some small toys such as dinosaurs and Lego characters in the freezer overnight.
Place them in an ice cube tray for an easy excavation, or to make things more difficult to break out place many of them in a large bag or bowl full of water.
Now how to get them out, will you wait for it to melt, will you speed up the warming process or will you chip away at the ice until they are free?
Ice cube art
Let's paint with ice! This experiment will encourage them to be creative, important for social skills and friendships when they start school.
- Fill each section of an ice-cube tray with water and a few drops of food coloring or even liquid water colour paints.
- Cover the tray with a layer of tin foil, this will stop the stick falling over in the next step.
- Insert a stick or a pencil through the foil and freeze them.
- When you're ready to get colouring grab your ice along with the paper outside
- As the ice melts, get painting with the melting, slippery, sliding cube.
More ideas on freezing and melting are on our blog posts here
Freezing and melting things in ice (miniprofessors.com)
Ice Art (miniprofessors.com)
Cold Weather Chemistry
You'll have to wait until a snowy day for this one, but once it's there it's so simple!
- Just pile up a mound of snow, you can do this inside on a tray or do it outside. Once you have a mound make a large hole in the middle and get your lava ready.
- Place some bicarbonate into the hole and then pour in your vinegar and wait for the explosion!
- Make it more lava like by getting white or distilled vinegar and colouring it with red or orange food colouring.
Storm in a Jar
This exciting experiment is highly visual which helps with eye tracking and concentration. These skills are very important for your child's next step in reading.
Strengthening those hands ready for learning to hold a pen and write whilst filling up your homemade pipette is something they will all love, no matter the age.
This also works very well with older children, who can work on precise measurements and also estimation skills with the foam and the colouring.
Start by asking your children where rain or snow comes from. They may want to go and look at the clouds, looks for shapes in the sky or even draw clouds with chalk or cotton wool.
Explain to your child that different clouds do different things, they are not too young to understand this. Some rain and others simply float from West to East.
To create your storm in a jar you will need:
➡A jar or glass
➡Shaving foam - white if possible and not gel
➡Coloured water, blue is great to represent rain and red makes it look like an ice cream
Pinecone Weather Station
This is one of our favourite experiments and so easy to do at home after a winter walk.
Grab your pinecones and set them up on a windowsill outside but make sure you can still see them from the inside. You might want to secure them down with a little blu tak.
Open pinecone = Dry weather
Closed pinecone = Wet weather
Another great way to encourage making predictions for younger children is to look at patterns around them or even look at a picture or poster and ask what they think will happen next. This will build on their imagination as well as maths and science skills.