Friday, January 14, 2011

Water and Ice

Do you remember last week when we painted the snow with our giant paint brushes? There was a considerable amount of "paint" left over, and instead of bringing it inside we opted to leave it out to see what would happen to it.

Overnight, it froze.... and then snow started to collect over the top. Today, we decided to bring one the paint containers inside and experiment with the frozen "paint" in our sensory table. The paint itself is just water mixed with a package of powdered Kool-Aid. (the kind you need to add sugar to without the sugar added.)

I prepared the table with small containers of water of varying temperatures and a few spray bottles of water as well. The children were also given pipettes and turkey basters.

Through their scientific explorations, they quickly found that the warm water worked better to melt the ice than the cold water. They were also surprised to find that the water collecting in the bottom of the table was really cold!

Concentrated sprays in the same spot started to make "caves" holes in the ice. "Do you think we can make a cave all the way through?"

"Brrr! That's COLD on my fingers!"

It took a good half hour or so before the children decided that they could pour cups of water over the ice.

The children spent a long time working with our frozen paint and water. Here are a few things that they discovered in their explorations:
*Warm/hot water makes bigger caves (holes)
*It isn't easy to make a hole all the way through the ice, but it can be done
*When you put hot (warm) water on the top, it is cold after it touches the ice
*If we all work together in the same spot, we get a bigger cave
*Hot water just works better
*Your hands turn red from the paint. (Shaving cream works really well to help remove the Kool-Aid "stain")
*Ice is really cold
*Ice will float if there is enough water in the table
*The ice disappeared (melted) when we just left it in the table (When asked why- because it is warm inside)
We decided that next time we could:
*Try plain ice and colored water
*Have big and little pieces of ice
*Have more than one block of ice
I personally think it would be fun to add some thermometers to the table. My older children could compare the temperature before the water poured on the ice to the temperature after.
I also think it would be fun to freeze some other substance than colored water, perhaps jello?
Do you have any other thoughts, suggestions?
(On a side note, we managed this activity during a "whisper day" as I didn't have much of a voice. I continue to be amazed at how little I am really needed, and how well the children continue to do when you just step back an observe.)


jwg said...

Cool! Cold? Anyhow, I've done variations of this but it never occurred to me to freeze paint. Next time, add salt to half the spray bottles and ask the kids what they think will happen with the salty ones. It speeds up melting and explains why they sometimes salt the roads.

Ticia said...

first, How cool was that?

And second, don't you just love what shaving cream can get off?

TP Craft said...

This is great. I love the use of the spray bottles.

rachelle | tinkerlab said...

This is a great idea, Amy! We were at our children's museum this week, and this is the project they're doing for the month! Since we're in sunny California, we just have to eat through a bit more of our freezer food to make room for a big chunk of ice. :)

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