Ice Sculpture Science Experiment for Kids

by Rashmie on June 8, 2012 · 6 comments

in Creative Play,Science Fun

ice salt science experiment for kids sculptures

Science experiments are a fun, hands-on way of learning for kids. Pari has been asking for more and more of these lately. So, I’m always on the look-out for a playful science project.

With summers at its peak in our part of the world, water-based or ice-based play and science activities are so much relief.

I’d seen this cool (literally) ice and salt experiment at The Artful Parent, and we tried it once last year. But, we hadn’t done it on a slab of ice as we did this time. We’d used ice cubes and the results weren’t as spell-binding.

This time though, we made sure we used a block of ice. Pari filled an empty juice carton with water and left it to freeze overnight. We conducted the experiment the next afternoon.

Other than an ice block, we didn’t need much else. Only – salt, food colour and/or water colour.

Oh, and a deep tray and preferably an eye-dropper. (if not, you can use a paint brush, too)

First, we diluted some water colour from the tubes because we didn’t have the full range in food colours. Just green, yellow, orange wouldn’t be as much fun. We needed purple, blue and pink, too.

But then, if you have water colour tubes or even cakes, converting them into liquid water colour is easy peasy.

Now, the fun begins.

I gave Pari the common table salt as well as some sea salt. We wanted to see if different salts would yield different results.

Else where on the net, I’ve seen some using kosher salt for better results. But, we didn’t have any.

In retrospect, the sea salt worked pretty good actually….

Here are some pictures looking at which you will agree with me that this activity, though pure science, is nothing short of art and gorgeousness!

Pari layered some table salt over sea salt.

ice salt science for children

She dropped colours in small areas using an eye dropper.

This is just the beginning of our oohs and aahs….keep scrolling to see some breath-taking colours and textures.

After a few minutes with the greens and the blues, she’d had enough of those colours.

Here comes the ‘pink’ pouring down in a riot…

water science experiments for children

And, soon we were marveling at those gleaming pink ice structures; simultaneously discussing the science behind it. We also discussed why in places where it snows, they use salt to melt and clear it.

artful science for kids

They looked like sparkling crystals…leaving us gasping for more and more…

If this is not art, what is?

Infact, looking at these, we were reminded of coral reefs! Don’t you think so?

As the ice kept melting, the tray was filled with coloured water. So, we emptied it and continued till the last drop…!

photography for kids

And the bonus fun of this experiment – it turned out to be a rich opportunity for Pari to do photography. She tried her hands at different features – white balance and macro mode. Played around with composition. I gave her some tips about how to make the best use of light puring through the adjacent window. She also made some videos of me as we both burst into an impromptu song and dance sequence – “tic tic tic tastic, super fun-tastic” haha! it’s her fav line till date….

And bonus number two – squeezing in some moments of art!

I quickly rushed to get paper kitchen towels. I folded it twice to get a square piece and then had Pari press it on to the coloured ice crystals.

And voila! The edgy zig-zag surface of the ice formed beautiful impressions on the paper towel. The colours soaked deep enough so that when we opened the whole piece, it was laced with those patterns! I went on to make a few myself.

I tell you, this experiment is as much fun for adults as it is for kids. I can say I went wild with joy looking at those gorgeous ice structures and crystals. It’s a playground for the camera-crazy….!

Some more ideas on ice salt experiments:

Do your kid/s love ice play? Do share any other ice-based ideas that you have.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann June 10, 2012 at 4:11 am

So cool! This makes me want a microscope camera – it looks like the salt is tunneling down! I can’t wait to try this!!!
Ann’s recent fabulous post..Journey 2 Family Fun Night


suchita June 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

This looks indeed a coral reef.very simple and amazing experiment . Will try for sure.


suchita June 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm

This looks indeed a coral reef.very simple and amazing experiment . Will try for first glance looked like a very exotic dish.pari had a good hands on photography…amazingly talented
suchita’s recent fabulous post..Glass painting-with kundan work


Rohilla June 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I must say amazing experiment!!!!! My daughter enjoyed your ice sculptures!!!!! So that is why I would like to share this Zoozoo learning website for kids. I too like it; they have quizzes and fun facts with the Zoozoos. Do have a look .I promise you’ll like it.


PlayDrMom June 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I can’t wait to try this out too! Thanks so much for sharing on this week’s Kids Co-Op linky up!
PlayDrMom’s recent fabulous post..The ABCs of Crayon Freckles … and this week’s Kids Co-Op Linky!


Ness @ One Perfect Day June 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

This is so wonderful! Just beautiful to look at and so much learning going on as well. Great pics! I’ve pinned this to the Weekly Kid’s Co-op Pinterest board and I’ve featured it on my blog today as one of my favourites from last week.
Ness @ One Perfect Day’s recent fabulous post..It’s time to play! Welcome to the Weekly Kid’s Co-op


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