Here's a fun and simple science experiment for kids that's artful, cool (literally) and requires only some very basic supplies. And the results are downright gorgeous, or at least intriguing, depending on the colors one uses! Infact, I hesitate to call this a simple science experiment for kids, since anyone of any age who appreciates colors and the beauty of ice crystals will certainly enjoy this one! I was inspired by a post over on The Artful Parent, where an ice block made in a milk carton is used, but I decided to make a smaller castle like shape by filling the bottom half of a recycled plastic bottle with water. Ours melted leaving lovely holes on the inside, and it really looked like a crystal palace of sorts!
- kosher salt (use can mix in some regular salt too, but I think the large salt crystals are more beautiful)
- food coloring or liquid water colors
- a block of ice, we made ours in the bottom portion of recycled plastic bottles
- a plate or preferable a deep tray to catch all the liquid as it melts
- an eye dropper (optional)
Cut open plastic bottle to release ice and place on plate with the bottom flower-like side up. Dump salt crystals onto the top of the ice and then with an eye dropper start placing drops of color on top. We didn't have an eye dropper, so we actually used tiny shot glasses to just pour the color over our block of ice which worked too, but it's preferable to do this in smaller quantities to at least prolong the activitity a bit!
As the ice melted we looked closed at how the salt was melting the ice and discussed how in some cold areas of the world, salt is often used on the streets during the winter to melt ice. And that's it! Enjoy. This could be a nice project to do with a group of kids at a summer get together, and come back tomorrow for another great project that you can do at the same time to use up your little pots of food coloring!