Sunday 24 March 2013

Colourful ice experiment

This is a very fun experiment, particularly enjoyed by my 5 year old and 2 year old today.  It's very simple and all you will need is:
  • An ice cube tray
  • Food colouring (having red, blue and yellow is good as they are the primary colours)
  • water
  • Transparent, see through cups (I use plastic cups as it is safer for little people)
  • A stop watch
  • A jug is optional
  • A science journal again optional (this link send you to a very simple one for younger people or people who don't like to write much.
First you will need to but about 5 drops of food colouring in each of the ice cube tray compartments.  Different colours in each compartment and be careful not to mix the colours.

Carefully fill the tray, it would be easier to do this with a jug I found after using the tap last night. 
Your tray should look something similar to this... 
Ask your child to hypothesise what they think will happen to the water in the freezer.
Put it in the freezer and then every 30 minutes go back and check to see what is happening to your ice.  Talk about what is happening to the water.
When the ice is frozen it's time to play!
I pulled the ice out like this so it was easy for the girls to get their hands on.
Now you get your transparent cups of your choice and ask the child to put two different colour ice cube in each.  In one of our cups we put two of the same colour in one cup to see what would happen too.  Again ask your child to hypothesise what they think will happen.

Then leave it and again, every 30 minutes, check on them to see what happens.

Until it completely melts.  Children will learn that yellow and red makes orange, yellow and blue makes green, red and blue makes purple and so on...
You can also discuss that the water turned to ice then back into water.  This is a reversible change.  If you want to show a child a irreversible change you might like to go and make cakes now or a soda snake.
What is learnt from this experiment -
How liquids turn to solids
What happens to water when it freezes
How water freezing to water is a reversible change turning from ice and then back into water.
Colours - what happens when you mix different colours together, primary and secondary colours 
Other things you might like to try after this...
Soda Snake - which is a great irreversible change experiment

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