Kids have a natural curiosity when it comes to science and the world around them. They are naturally inquisitive and drawn to science experiments. I love giving children the opportunity to explore and learn as they pretend to be mini scientists.
This science experiment is simple to prepare and mainly uses materials you already have on hand. It kept my kids, and my students engaged and happy for close to an hour! That’s a sign of a great activity!
At first, I did this activity with my own kids at home and they enjoyed it so much that I prepared it for my classroom.
I did this science experiment with over 100 children at school. I love when I find activities that are low cost and easy to prepare for a large number of kids.
Water and ice are always fun, and easy for kids to play with, and they love it! Visit Picklebums water play ideas.
Science Experiments – Materials
The materials that I used for bags were simply materials that I had with our art and craft materials. You don’t need to use the same materials that I did. Keep it simple and use what you have on hand. If you are looking for extra materials to use, there is a link to a package of a variety of materials at the bottom of this post.
- Plastic Baggies
- Assortment of Art Materials
- Eye Droppers (Optional)
- Magnifying Glasses (Optional)
- Tweezers (Optional)
- Small Cups
Use clear, sealable plastic baggies. I created one bag for each child that was going to do the experiment. When I did the activity in the classroom I used the large size bags so that groups of 4 children could work together versus a single bag for each child.
Fill each bag with random materials from home. Some ideas include:
- Googly Eyes
- Foam Letters or Shapes
- Pipe cleaners
The more supplies you put into the bag the better. Kids will love seeing all of the treasures and the more there is, the more engaged they will be.
Any collection of materials will work. You could even fill the bag with items that work with different themes. For example, when learning about farm animals, I filled the baggy with small plastic animals and other farm related items.
When working on letter or number recognition, you could fill the bag with letters or numbers in different forms, from letter beads to foam numbers.
The only thing to keep in mind, is any materials that you do use, make sure that they are safe for the children doing the experiment. Avoid small objects if working with young children who may be incline to put things in their mouth.
Next, fill the bags with water. After filling them, put them in the freezer overnight.
Once you are ready to do the science experiments, take the plastic bag off of the ice with the frozen treasures inside.
Frozen Treasure Hunt Printable
If you want to add some extra fun to this activity and turn it into a treasure hunt, I have created a FREE Frozen Treasure Hunt printable sheet. When preparing the bag, make sure to include each of the items listed on the page.
These are the items that children will ‘hunt’ for in their ice. To complete the activity they need to find, and check off each of the items. Link to download at the bottom of the activity.
Frozen Treasures Science Experiments Steps
Since you are working with ice, it is best if you have a large tray that can hold the water as the ice melts as children experiment.
To start, give each child a tray with their frozen ice block full of treasures. I also provided magnifying glasses, plastic tweezers and eye droppers. Children started by inspecting the ice and looking closely to see what all was hidden in it.
Next, give children a small cup with some salt in it and a bowl of water. Children predicted what they thought would happen if they sprinkled some salt onto the ice. Some thought that it would melt, others thought that it would make the ice rough.
You don’t have to use salt, but it was a fun way for children to experiment with different solids and see the effect that they can have on each other. The salt immediately sticks to the ice and makes it feel like sandpaper.
Next, children began pouring a bit of water onto their ice. Some children used eye droppers, others used small cups. Either one works! Children watch and used their hands and tweezers to begin to pull some of the treasures out of the ice as it began to melt.
Children explored the difference between using salt and water on the ice. Do they cause the same thing to happen?
I think that hands-on experiments, like this one, are a great way to introduce new materials and science tools, such as magnifying glasses, to young children.
As they explore, observe and play they are learning about some of the features of ice. They are seeing the ice melt, and turn into water, right before their eyes.
It added to the excitement that I let children keep anything that they were able to remove.
This ended up being such a fun science experiment and it was so simple to prepare. Children started collecting all of the materials they were able to get out of the ice. They even started sorting and counting everything they found.
I love when an activity turns into even more and as I teacher I love all of the learning that happened.
For younger children, or children who do not like how cold the ice is an option is for children to wear gloves while doing the experiment.
This idea works really well for any season, but my favorite time to do these science experiments is during the summer. I love setting up outdoor education centers in warm weather and including an frozen block of ice filled with treasures.
Children love experimenting with the ice and trying the get the treasures out, but they may also leave the ice and frequently come back to see what is happening to it. As it melts, different treasures become free from the ice and children will keep playing with it.
For the FREE “Frozen Treasure Hunt” activity sheet, click the image below to subscribe and gain access to my FREE Resource Library and receive emails about my latest activities and products. You will also have access to the FREE library full of printables.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more drama games for kids and activities to do in the classroom, or at home with kids, below are some of my favourite and most popular learning activities.
From STEM challenges and escape room puzzles to experiments with balloons and snowmen there are lots of things to keep kids busy and learning.