Ice Sculptures with Salt and Liquid Watercolors

Share & Comment

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

This colorful salt and ice sculpture activity is an oldie but a goody. I've seen it around a fair bit, but we hadn't tried it ourselves until just recently.

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

First, I made a block of ice by freezing water in a milk carton. I set the ice in a baking dish and let Maia take over for the rest of the art project (or is it a science project? both I guess). I think you're supposed to sprinkle salt on top of the ice. Maia poured salt on top. Lots of it. First coarse sea salt, then Morton's table salt.

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

Then Maia added dropperfuls of our favorite liquid watercolors to the top of the salt-covered ice (you could also use food coloring, but we loved the color options of the liquid watercolors).

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

And more paint…

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

As with the salt, she was very liberal with the application of color.

Salt Ice Sculptures for Kids

Now, the point of this activity is that the salt melts crevases and tunnels through the ice and the paint (or food coloring) helps make the tunnels more visible.

Of course it's fun to make and do and also just plain beautiful, but we also talked about how the salt was melting the ice. How salt melts ice at a lower temperature and all that. But I don't think Maia was listening. She was oohing and ahing over the colors, dumping more salt on periodically, and squeezing more liquid watercolors on top.

Some other ice + salt + color posts:

Update: We've had a re-take of this melting ice science experiment. It was much more successful the second time around!

Here are 10 More Artful Science Experiments Kids Can Do At Home

If you enjoyed this post, please share your thoughts in the comments, share the post with your friends, or subscribe to receive blog updates through e-mail or your reader. Thank you!

Note: I am now a Discount School Supply affiliate and some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you follow a link and place a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sales price from Discount School Supply and will send you virtual hugs.

Share & Comment


  1. says

    I love all the science-y art you are doing (and sharing) this summer! We will have to try this one, the kids love, LOVE pouring anything in large quantities. (Ahem, the toothpaste all over the bathroom.)

  2. tasha says

    This is rockin- my son is more scientist than artist, and will flip over this! THANKS!!!

  3. says

    I know this is really late notice (being that the linky closes soon) but I am doing an ice theme this week and would love for you to link up so I can feature this post on Wed.

  4. Elizabeth B says

    Thanks so much for posting this! I am trying it out this week with my students. They are young children with low vision who live all over Australia, and we have sesisons via videoconference. Thanks for posting science/art that everyone can enjoy, and is so easy to set up!