It's the time of year when you hear people exclaiming about it being cold outside. We just returned from our break and dove straight into a unit on Winter. And what Winter unit would be complete without studying ice?
We began with each child scooping water into a waiting cup with their name on it. At this point we discussed that as water it is in a liquid form and asked them to make a hypothesis as to what would happen to the water after we placed it in the freezer for some time. Many readily responded that it would become ice and we discussed that ice is the solid form of water.
I had done this activity in years past, but wanted to change it up a bit. I pulled out the liquid watercolors from Discount School Supply and asked each child to choose the color they would like added to their water from yellow, blue, or red. One thing I didn't realize until I checked on the experiment partially through the freezing process was that the color was going to stain if the children touched it with their hands...another science experiment we hadn't planned. My staff and I decided that we'd have each child place a glove on their dominant hand to minimize the staining.
The next day each child was given their ice cup and encouraged to explore with it. We didn't tell them specifically what to do with it, as we wanted to see what they would come up with on their own. We did give them some safety guidelines: Touch the ice with the gloved hand, don't attempt to eat the ice, and don't throw it at a friend.
Some chose to hold it in their hand until it melted and some took turns holding the ice of a friend and made the realization of the newly created secondary color on their glove when doing so.
Some friends decided to throw their ice on the blacktop and some decided to stomp on it.
Some even chose to watch what others were doing, but held on to theirs a little longer.
Then some collected the broken pieces. The next day we went outside and were able to observe where the pieces had completely melted down and had temporarily stained the surface, which brought up more investigative questions. It was a chilly, but fun time.