Spring is beginning to sneak up on us, which basically means you never know what the weather is going to be. I have lost track of how many times this year we have watched the snow melt to the point that the ground gets wet enough to soak your shoes only to wake up the next day to an ice rink.
It KILLS my kids
One day they can go out without their jacket. The next day they have to put on all of their snow clothes before heading outside.
One day they can wear tennis shoes to school, the next they are back to their big clunky boots.
It’s a tough when the signs of a green ground and warmer days start teasing you.
After the millionth and one time of explaining that winter was not quite over and that no they could not wear shorts outside, I decided that maybe the best way to explore what was happening to the snow was through a fun activity. This simple activity of Ice Painting with Salt was an excellent activity for exploring fusion and why salt melts ice.
How Does Salt Melt Ice?
Well, the short answer is it doesn’t. What salt does is it lowers the freezing point of water. Pure water freezes at 32°F (0°C) while the freezing point of saltwater varies depending on the amount of salt; the more salt that is added to water, the lower it’s freezing point will be. This happens as the salt dissolves into the water around the ice, changing the pure water to salt water.
Items Needed for Ice Painting with Salt
- Silicone Ice Tray (buy here)
- Crafting Tray (buy here)
- Paint Brushes (buy here)
- Watercolors (buy here)
- Table Salt
How to Explore Melting with Ice Painting
Setting up play for this activity did require some planning, but overall was incredibly easy. The night before I filled up a silicone ice tray with water and let it sit in the freezer overnight. The next afternoon when it was time for quite time I simply popped the icecubes out of their tray and onto the crafting tray. On the tray I set out a bowl of table salt, a paintbrush, and some watercolors. While we did use store bought paints for this activity you could very easily make your own watercolors at home!
My son wasted absolutely no time jumping in to explore this activity!
It did take a bit for the salt to start working its magic. He found this frusturating because it took forever for his brush to get wet enough to pick up some color. If you do this activity with your kids I would suggest maybe putting some water into the watercolors ahead of time or offering them a small bowl of water. This way the watercolors can help speed up the melting process.
Once the ice started melting though, this was a ton of fun.
The icecubes were so slippery it required using two hands to be able to get the paint on.
This made it a fantastic challenge for a fine motor skill called assymmetrical bilateral coordination. I know that is a really big nasty word, but it is an important skill for all kids to develop.
What it means is being able to use both of your hands at the same time using different motions to complete a single task. This fine motor skill is what we use when we do activities like cutting with scissors or writing on paper.
Not only is this activity jammed packed with hands on learning for your kids, it is also really fun with amazing results.
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I am completely in love with how neat the hearts looked!