Ice Science Experiments for Kids

Updated on January 29, 2018

Ice activities are a simple but effective means to teach kids about science. Kids will learn about the properties of water and ice in a fun and engaging way. These activities and experiments are great to do on hot summer days or during the cold winter months--or any time your children need something neat to do.

Most of these ideas only require water and food coloring. Learn how to create rainbow ice, a toy surprise, an ice cup, breathe ice, and make an ice necklace. So grab an ice tray and chill out with these fun ice activities and experiments.

Colorful Ice Cubes

What will you create with them?
What will you create with them?

Rainbow Ice

Materials:

  • Ice tray
  • Food coloring
  • Paper (optional)

Ice instantly becomes more fun when it is rainbow colored. Choose one or several colors of food coloring to make rainbow ice cubes. In a pitcher or large cup mix water and several drops of food coloring together. Carefully pour the colored water into an ice tray.

When the water has turned to ice, you will have rainbow ice cubes. There are several different activities you can do with the colored ice. You can put two or three different colored pieces of ice in a cup and discover what color it makes when the ice has melted together.

The colored ice can be added to a clear liquid such as water or clear soda to make a fun rainbow drink or to turn a clear drink whatever color you would like. You can make red drinks or green drinks or blue drinks.

Make a rainbow picture by placing a few ice cubes on a piece of paper and leaving them outside on a hot day to melt. You can place the paper and ice cubes on a baking sheet to melt inside on cold days. When the ice has melted, you will have a colorful picture made by the melted water.

Ice Cube Painting

Frozen Surprise

Toy horse frozen in ice
Toy horse frozen in ice

Toy in Ice

Materials:

  • Small plastic toy
  • Ice tray

Your kids will find a surprise in their ice with this activity. Place the toy in a slot of an ice tray or in a plastic cup. Pour water over the toy. You can use water with a few drops of food coloring to disguise the toy inside if you would like. Put the tray or cup into the freezer for at least several hours.

When the ice is frozen solid, remove the cube. Let the kids keep tabs on the ice as it melts. When the toy becomes unfrozen, the kids will get a big kick out of their frozen find. Ask them how it got into the ice. Let the kids repeat the experiment for themselves to learn about the properties of ice.

You can freeze several toys in pieces of ice and have a race to see whose toy melts the fastest. Sprinkling salt onto the ice or pouring warm water over the cube to melt it can add to the fun of the game.

Fun Frozen Cup

Milk in a cup made of ice
Milk in a cup made of ice

Ice Cup

Materials:

  • Ice cup mold

or

  • 3 oz plastic cup
  • 8-12 oz plastic cup

Tape

You can purchase molds to create small cups made of ice. (The original intent is shot glasses, but they make perfect kid sized cups for juice or other kid-friendly beverages). You simply pour water in the mold and allow it to freeze. The frozen cup can then be used for drinks. The kids will be amazed as the cup begins to melt away in their hands.

You can also make your own ice cup mold using plastic cups. First, you fill a normal sized plastic drinking cup (9 oz cups work best) about a third of the way with water. Put a small 2-3 ounce plastic cup on top of the water so that it is floating level with the top of the larger cup. Tape the top of the cups so the small cup remains still. Make sure the water comes about a half an inch above the bottom of the small cup. Place in the freezer.

After 4-5 hours, the cup should be frozen. Remove the tape and the small cup. Run warm water over the large cup until the frozen ice slides out easily. And now you have a cup made of ice. Either put the frozen cup back into the freezer for later or pour a drink into it immediately and enjoy. The cup will begin melting as you drink.

Ice Breath

Materials:

  • Hot beverage (tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc)
  • Ice cream or Popsicle

Make it seem as if you can breathe ice with this simple trick. The trick is similar to the fog that can be seen when a freezer is opened in a hot room. You can create fog or steam breath by applying the same idea. It will look like the steamy breath that is visible on cold days.

The ideal situation to create icy breath is on a really hot day or in a hot room. First drink some of the hot liquid. Then take a big bite of ice cream or Popsicle (or even a normal piece of ice). While holding the ice cream in your mouth, slightly pucker your lips and breathe out.

You should see a cold fog as you breathe out. The best way to produce the fog is to have the liquid as hot as you can without it burning your tongue. You’ll want to drink the liquid and then put the ice cream or ice into your mouth as soon as possible. If you get brain freeze, just touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth where your nasal passage is.

Frozen Bubbles

The steam from the hot water created frozen bubbles on the lid of the container.
The steam from the hot water created frozen bubbles on the lid of the container.

Ice Designs

Materials:

  • 3 Plastic containers with flat lids
  • Water
  • Pan

Ice forms interesting patterns when it freezes. The condition of the water has an effect on what the patterns look like.

To create your own ice designs, fill one of the containers halfway full of normal water straight from the tap. Put the lid on the container and place it in the freezer.

Fill the second container halfway full with normal water. Place the lid on the container. Shake the container for about 30 seconds to create air bubbles in the water. Put the container into the freezer. If you have an aerator on your faucet it will also help create air bubbles in the water.

Boil a pan of water. Turn the water off and allow it to stop boiling. Before the water has a chance to cool any further, pour the hot water directly into the third container so that it is about halfway full. Place the lid on the container. Put the container into the freezer quickly but carefully so that the water is still hot.

Leave the containers in the freezer for at least five hours. Take the containers out and remove the lids. What kind of design did the different types of water make on the lids? What kind of designs are in the blocks of ice?

You can use magnifying glasses to look at the ice designs closer. Running cold water over the blocks of ice will help remove fog from the outside. You should see air bubbles inside the block with the hot water and in the block from the water with air.

See which block looks cloudier. Do you notice any other interesting shapes or designs in the ice?

To expand, try the experiment using filtered water and bottled water. Do you notice a difference with it? You can explore other types of water and what it looks like frozen. What about muddy or dirty water? Does it look different? Freeze other liquids besides water. What kind of frozen designs do these liquids make?

Edible Jewelry

The beads are placed in the slots and the necklace is taped to the tray.
The beads are placed in the slots and the necklace is taped to the tray.

Ice Necklace

This idea is inspired from Disney's FamilyFun site.
This idea is inspired from Disney's FamilyFun site. | Source

Ice Necklace

Materials:

  • 2 Pieces of lanyard about 18-24 inches long
  • Large beads
  • Ice tray
  • Tape
  • Food colored water or fruit juice

Make an edible ice necklace that you can nibble on while you wear it. Tie one end of the lanyard and string the beads along it. Then tie the other end of the lanyard.

Tape the necklace to one end of the ice tray. Place one or two of the beads down into each of the cube slots. Tape the necklace on the top of each slot to keep the beads in place.

Slowly pour in the colored water or fruit juice. Fill the slots about 2/3 of the way full. Place the ice tray carefully in the freezer and leave it in there for at least 4 hours.

Remove the tray from the freezer and carefully remove the necklaces. Tie them on and enjoy! They will begin melting once out of the freezer, so expect a bit of mess. This is great for a hot day outside. Wear clothing that won’t be ruined as the ice melts.

Ice Poll

Which is more fun?

See results

How to Make Instant Ice

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        ignugent17 - Thanks!

      • profile image

        ignugent17 

        6 years ago

        Very interesting and useful hub. Kids will really love this activity. :-)

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        something - The food color may turn your teeth and tongue a different color. It would be like eating a Popsicle. Your mouth would be a different color for a little while.

      • profile image

        something 

        6 years ago

        but will the ice cubes turn your teeth the color that you want to make them?

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        DJ - Children love to play with ice, especially when it's as hot as it has been this summer. Thanks for commenting.

      • profile image

        DJ Ejaz 

        7 years ago

        Nice job man.I'll bet that your kids love these ice science experiments.I thinks children having a lot of fun with these ideas.

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thanks timonweller!

      • profile image

        timonweller 

        7 years ago

        Cool experiments for the kids, will have to pass that one onto my sister..

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thank you Maggie.L and Amani. Summer's on the way so we all need ways to stay cool.

      • profile image

        Amani Amstutz 

        7 years ago

        I think these are all great experiments- anybody would find these creative ideas as 'fun for everone'!

      • Maggie.L profile image

        Maggie.L 

        7 years ago from UK

        What great ideas for ice experiments. I can imagine children having a lot of fun with these ideas.

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thank you for the kind words everyone!

      • divacratus profile image

        Kalpana Iyer 

        7 years ago from India

        I love Science experiments! These experiments are especially suitable for kids because they are simple and fun. Thanks for sharing! :)

      • Anamika S profile image

        Anamika S Jain 

        7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

        Wow! This is fun and interesting. absolutely loves the ideas!

      • profile image

        My4boys 

        7 years ago from United States

        Great article-fun ideas!! Enjoyed it.

      • midnightbliss profile image

        Haydee Anderson 

        7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

        this is a fun idea for kids, that they will surely enjoy while learning.

      • Native Gardener profile image

        Native Gardener 

        7 years ago from Topanga Canyon, California

        I love the ice necklace! Thanks for the idea, will share.

      • MobyWho profile image

        MobyWho 

        7 years ago from Burlington VT

        Anything to stir the creative mind in kids is great - and when it's fun and messy? All the better. BTW - some people freeze their jewelry in ice cube trays to foil burglars; but that's so old only the burglars know it.

      • DonnaCosmato profile image

        Donna Cosmato 

        7 years ago from USA

        What unique ideas! We are going to try to ice painting ASAP...congratulations on your win,it was well deserved!

      • lea416 profile image

        lea416 

        7 years ago

        This is great! I want to make them now!!!

      • Just About It profile image

        Just About It 

        7 years ago from southern CA

        My son is going to love these this summer!

      • cat on a soapbox profile image

        Catherine Tally 

        7 years ago from Los Angeles

        You've provided great ideas for creative fun and learning! Congratulations on your win :>)

      • zanin profile image

        zanin 

        7 years ago from London, England

        I love the ice-necklace. Great info.

      • herbalshealth profile image

        herbalshealth 

        7 years ago

        This is great fun source for our kids. Thanks for information

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thanks to everyone who posted. I really appreciate your comments. I hope this hub brings lots of icy fun to all the kids (and adults) who try these ideas out. I am very grateful for being selected and for all the congratulations I have received. The HubPages community is wonderful.

      • Ruby H Rose profile image

        Maree Michael Martin 

        7 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

        My grandkids are gonna love these ideas. Wonderful post, congratulations on the contest.

      • profile image

        vinsanity 

        7 years ago

        This looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for the post!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        I'll bet that your kids love these ice science experiments. You would make a good scout leader! Congratulations on your writing contest win.

      • Les Trois Chenes profile image

        Les Trois Chenes 

        7 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

        Some great, messy ideas here for the kids. will try. Congrats on win.

      • WannaB Writer profile image

        Barbara Radisavljevic 

        7 years ago from Templeton, CA

        Congrats on your win. Sounds like these activities should provide lots of learning fun with ice.

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 

        7 years ago from New Jersey

        Nice job! It's tough to decide what projects to make in our NJ annual school science fairs, and these are some great ideas.

      • Paradise7 profile image

        Paradise7 

        7 years ago from Upstate New York

        Congratulations on your win! Good hub, I enjoyed it and I don't even have little kids around!

      • daffodil2010 profile image

        daffodil2010 

        7 years ago

        congratulations!

      • K9keystrokes profile image

        India Arnold 

        7 years ago from Northern, California

        The necklace made of ice sounds really fun and any kid (or fun lovin' adult)would have a blast making these. This is a wonderful choice for winning the writing contest staff pick! Very well deserved Congrats!

        K9

      • C.S.Alexis profile image

        C.S.Alexis 

        7 years ago from NW Indiana

        I love this hub, great job!

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thank you everyone. Wow! Winning has made my month. Thanks again!

      • leahlefler profile image

        Leah Lefler 

        7 years ago from Western New York

        This is a great hub! Congratulations on the win, it was well deserved. This article is really useful - I am going to try the ice painting with my boys this summer!

      • akirchner profile image

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 years ago from Washington

        Cute ideas for kids! Congrats on your win, too!

      • Green Lotus profile image

        Hillary 

        7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        This is amazing and so unique. Congratulations on your big win! There were a thousand entries from what I understand. Cool in a big appropriate way :) :)

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Thanks! I love playing with ice. It's cool! Kids love it too.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        7 years ago from San Francisco

        What fun these are! These sound like excellent activities, and your directions are great! The photos are awesome, too. Great Hub!

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