Kids have a natural curiosity when it comes to science and the world around them. They are naturally inquisitive and drawn to experimenting. I love giving young children the opportunity to explore and learn as they pretend to be mini scientists. I used this science activity during the first week of school. Since I teach preschool/kindergarten on prep I always have a 40 minute period with the kids. I teach over 100 students, so I am trying to find activities that are low cost and easy to prepare for a large number of kids. Science experiments can get expensive for so many kids, but this one was great and it was a hit with the kids!
I filled 24 large baggies with random materials that I had at home – beads, buttons, pompoms, yarn, feathers. I then filled the bags with water, and a few drops of food colouring. After filling them, I put them in my freezer. Since I had so many bags, they were fairly compact in the freezer so they took several days to freeze. I filled 6 bags for each of the classes that I was going to be doing the experiment in. Groups of 4 children for each bag ended up being perfect.
I used large tin trays to help keep the melting ice contained. I gave each student a magnifying glass and gave groups a cup with warm water and eye droppers. Students then went to work inspecting the ice and working to remove the treasures inside. I let students keep anything that they were able to remove, which they were very excited about. It was a fun activity and a great introduction to the different tools we will be using throughout the year.
Although the activity went well, when I do it again, I would use small baggies and put double the amount of treasures that I did. The ice blocks ended up lasting through 2 periods so smaller ones may have made students feel more successful in finding more treasures. Either way it was fun and the kids enjoyed it, but there’s always room for improvement.