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Activity Documentation: Melt Ice Cubes

My girls love outdoor activities, but as it gets hotter and hotter outside, it gets harder to find fun activities to do in the heat. This is the perfect quick activity to do even when it's 105 degrees outside!

The girls are ready with their bowl full of ice. They were so excited for their "science experiment."

Macie really enjoyed observing the melting process. She spent a lot of time squatting down watching the ice cubes.

Once Ellie realized the ice cubes would take awhile to melt, she decided she would eat some of the ice cubes while we waited.

While the ice cubes were slowly melting, Macie asked if they could draw with some of the other ice cubes in the bowl. They both really enjoyed drawing with the ice cubes, as the ice cubes melted in their hands. They were also really fascinated with how their artwork slowly disappeared. Macie enjoyed working on her numbers.

Ellie decided that drawing with the ice cubes was even more fun than eating the ice cubes - ha! She practiced writing her name.

After spending some time drawing/writing with the ice, they went back to observing it melt. It was really hard for them to observe the ice without touching it.

Do you see a heart? Macie and Ellie were so excited when the water from these ice cubes started forming a heart! This led us to create a new game. The girls put ice cubes all over the patio, and we walked around looking for shapes in the mini water puddles forming around the melting ice cubes. It's a new take on finding shapes in the clouds! I was super impressed with their creativity. They spotted a dolphin, roller skate, cat, and a hot dog, to name a few!

Macie decided to use the last ice cube to see how fast it would melt on her head! She made it about 1 minute before deciding it was too cold and taking too long!

We definitely want to try this activity again when it is even hotter outside, so that we can watch a faster melting process. But until it gets hotter outside, we plan to do more ice drawing, and more shape hunting in the mini water puddles left behind.

►  Activity
Melt ice cubes in the sun

Idea Box

Age of child(ren)
3 & 5

Length of time spent on activity (approx.)
25 minutes

►  Materials needed/chosen
Ice cubes

►  Any prep-work? If so, what?
No prep was needed

Directions / What we did
I put about 15 ice cubes in a bowl, and then I took the girls outside. They put about half of the ice cubes on the ground, in full sun, and watched them melt.

►  Possible ways to expand on the activity
• draw with the ice cubes on the ground
• break the ice into different sizes to see which ones melt the fastest
• put some ice cubes in the sun and some in the shade to observe which ones melt faster
• freeze a couple of their small toys inside of some ice cubes so that as the ice melts their toys appear

►  What would you do differently next time?
Nothing - this was a very simple, easy activity that required no prep, yet still kept them occupied (and having fun!) for over 20 minutes.

What my child was able to do by themselves

►  What my child needed help with

►  My child's thoughts about the activity
They thought the activity was super fun, and they enjoyed watching the ice melt. My 5-year-old even told me, "I already knew that when ice melted it turned into water, but it's really cool to watch it happen!"

►  Any other thoughts or info about the activity?
We will definitely be doing this more and more as it gets even hotter outside! Such a fun activity for the summertime!

Sarah is a full time chef, maid, nurse, and entertainer to the three coolest little girls, who all happen to be under the age of 5. It might not be glamorous, but it’s truly her dream job. She's also married to her best friend, Matt, who is likely the most helpful and loving husband in the world…sorry ladies. Sarah has a love for writing, photography, crafts, sarcasm, and Mexican food. In her spare time she likes to…who is she kidding? She has NO spare time. Someday she'll enjoy traveling the world with her husband, but for now they will cherish their family game nights and their weekly date nights.

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