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.
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.
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).
And more paint…
As with the salt, she was very liberal with the application of color.
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:
- Iridescence at 5 Orange Potatoes
- Ice tunnels at Art and Creativity (I just found this and LOVE it! We're totally trying this again so we can see the ice tunnels)
- The same project with an unusual shape of ice at Rhyme Time
Update: We've had a re-take of this melting ice science experiment. It was much more successful the second time around!
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