This Science for Kids Post is contributed by Sarah of Little Bins for Little Hands.
Ice & More Ice Sensory Science for Kids!
This winter we have really been enjoying exploring ice, water and snow. Freezing them, melting them and experimenting with them! There are so many ways to incorporate sensory play and science for kids using what you have. Ice and water are everywhere. I really enjoy showing Liam that you can learn from everyday life. He does love to go fun places to play and explore, but there is also so much to explore right in your own home!
To get this science sensory play activity started, I asked Liam to go and grab his penguin set up from his zoo play set. He happily obliged and did wonderful listening. I like to include him as much as possible in the activities and often we set up together. I asked him to put one penguin or fish in each ice-cube tray section. Then I filled it with water and popped it in the freezer. He was truly excited with the idea of playing with ice and melting it that he repeatedly announced that he had to go and check the penguins. He could not wait to get started with this ice melt sensory play.
Once the water had frozen, I set up the table for him to play and explore this penguin science sensory play theme. I thought a dish towel to start might be a smart choice. I was right! I set out a dollar store baking pan, plastic tongs, the penguin habitat, plastic mustard/ketchup bottles with warm water, a pitcher of warm water, a baster and a ladle. It was completely up to him to decide how to melt the ice cubes and release the penguins and fish.
First he emptied the frozen cubes onto the towel and used the tongs to put each one into the baking pan. I love finding little ways to incorporate fine motor skills, too. Let the fun and experimenting begin! He had many different tools to melt the ice cubes with and free the penguins and fish. He really enjoyed the plastic squirt bottles as well as the baster. He would shout, “Look; they are melting mommy!” Once completely melted, he moved them safely to their habitat.
He wanted more ice to play with, so I emptied out the water and filled it with regular ice cubes. He proceeded to melt those and then wanted more to use as icebergs for the penguins. So, I got even more ice cubes, and he made his own small world for the penguins. He hopped them around, made them swim, and fed them fish!
This was a very fun ice melt science sensory activity with lots of room for free play and exploration. I always enjoy finding new ways to use the items we already have around the house to make science for kids fun and exciting! Plus, it’s winter, and this makes for some great talk about penguins and cold climates, too. Take out a book about penguins while you are it and learn while you play!
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