This week we were on an Outdoor sensory experience with our Cozy Winter Senses theme box from Experience Preschool. One of our days was all about Ice- something that still resonates in my children’s minds from our Snowmageddon back in February earlier this year. That was a really scary ice experience, so it was really nice to spend a day studying ice, playing with it and making new memories revolved around ice.
STEAM: Ice Fishing
Our STEAM lesson started with us trying to pick up ice out of our bowl of water. The kids said we could use fingers, shovels, spoons, measuring cups and even our toes to pick up ice. I asked them if they believed me if I told them they could pick up ice with a piece of yarn?
They laughed. Really? I told them we were going to do some ice fishing while I tied the yarn to a stick I found on the ground outside. I had my 7 year old draw a chart in her journal with 3 columns: seconds, no salt, and with salt. Then she read aloud the directions on the Science Card that came from Experience Preschool.
We placed the yarn in the bowl for 30 seconds, pulled it out, and no ice was attached. We tried again with 60 seconds and 120 seconds and still nothing.
I told them if they remembered the big trucks from our Big Freeze back in February and if they remembered what the trucks put on the road to help with the ice. My oldest remembered: salt.
So I asked them what they thought would happen if we placed salt on the ice. It would melt they said. My daughter reread the directions on the Science Card, and we each sprinkled a teaspoon of salt on top of our ice and placed the yarn on top.
30 seconds: a little tug but no ice stuck.
60 seconds: lots of ice stuck in the beginning but began to fall but we had 2 stuck to the yarn!
120 seconds: we expected tons more ice to stick and we had lots of tugs when pulling up the yarn, but only one stayed stuck to the yarn.
Each kiddo drew a picture of the ice and the fishing pole. I love how this lesson allowed them each to enjoy it at their particular level of learning.
“Momma, how was the yarn able to pick up the ice cubes?” Such a great question and I am so glad our little Science Card had this explanation written on it:
When salt is sprinkled over ice, the ice melts. However, when it is used in such a small amount, like in our experiment, the water around the ice freezes again quickly. This means that the string gets trapped as the water around it refreezes making it stick to the ice.Experience Preschool: Ice Science Card
Creative Corner: Dripping Icicles
I set up our creative corner outside since the kiddos were going to be dripping watery paint sprinkled with Epsom salt to create icicles.
When we looked at the inspiration photo the kids remembered the icicles we had on our house although they were nothing like the photo. We discussed how icicles are made by snow melting running down the surface, but refreezing as they drip down, thus creating an icicle.
For this activity, Experience Preschool sent us paper to make a house if desired and an eyedropper for each child. My 7 year old made a house that was more horizontal while my 4 year old decided he wanted a taller house. All I needed to add was watery white paint and markers. After they drew details on their houses, I attached their project to our trays with some tape and placed them on a photo holder so the “icicles” could drip down.
I love watching their process in creating their art.
My 4 year old was all about full force squirts to create icicles on his house. Meanwhile, my 7 year old methodically placed her drips one by one observing it drip all the way to the end before placing her next icicle.
One really cool observation we made was that the water followed the lines she had drawn on her house. So the icicle didn’t go down the middle of her window, but took a turn for the curtain that she drew. It was really neat to see.
I love how in both these activities my kids who are 3.5 years apart can both be learning about the same things (ice), yet I can challenge them at their own particular level. When my kids can learn together, that creates bonds and memories—- just one more reason I am grateful for this little box by Experience Early Learning.