Science Experiment : Ice, Water, Vapor

LearningPreschoolers9 Comments

Henry woke up asking to do an experiment!

When I asked what kind of experiment he’d like to do, he replied,

Probably thinking of our sand and salt experiment on ice that we did for the 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge (for Day 22, Investigate).

I didn’t have anything prepared yet, but ice cubes.
So after asking some fans on Facebook (check here to see their suggestions for ice experiments).

ice learning experiment, ice to water to vapor

I came up with a simple, yet fun, interactive science experiment with ice.

Watching and causing the changes ofthe phases of water as an ice cube melts and turns into water.
It then comes to a boil and vaporizes into thin air, disappearing completely.

This is how we did it.
I set up three ice stations.
Two pots and one bowl.

Henry added six ice cubes to each ice station (great counting practice for him).

In one of the pots, as well as the bowl, I added a handful of salt to the ice cubes (hoping this would be a salt vs non-salt experiment).

I then added low heat to the two pots on the stove.
Henry’s been loving the chance to get to work at the stove (and I’m getting braver to letting him do so).

preschool science experiment, phases of water

I gave Henry a spoon to stir the ice cubes, just as something for him to do.

We watched and compared each of the ice stations.
We watched to see which pot or bowlmelted the fastest.

(The bowl quickly became ignored as nothing was happening in it since there was no heat!)

The pots were a happening experiment though!
The ice cubes quickly melted and turned into water.
Then once the water heated, it started bubbling, beginning to boil.
Even then, it didn’t stop!
The water quickly turned into vapor, leaving an empty bowl.

preschool activity, science experiment

Our salt versus non-salt experiment kind of flopped.
I had put the salt in the smaller pot.
This pot took longer to melt and vaporize because the water was then deeper.
So I didn’t emphasize the salt factor too much.
Henry had also started putting ice cubes in the other pot first, too, which might have made a difference.

But we did notice one thing.

The salt left a residue on the pan!
We noticed it first when the water began to boil.

preschool science, ice to water to vapor

And by the time the water completely vaporized, the difference was transparent!
The salt pot was thick with a salty residue left in the pan!

preschool science, the phases of water
(left: non-salt pot, right: salt pot)

Henry thought it would be necessary to get rid of the salt.
So, instead of ‘cleaning’ the pot, we ‘dissolved’ the salt in water.

preschool science, salt and non-salt water phases experiment

Add a little learning to our playtime!
This is a learning post to celebrate with the lesson plan mom, Jill’s, first anniversary for her blog: A Mom with a Lesson Plan! She has brilliant learning activities that are geared towards the mom without a lesson plan. She’s got the ideas and simple ways that anyone can do it with their kids. Simple ideas, should I say, to add a little learning to our playtime!

Here are some more ideas that others are doing to add a little learning to our playtime, as well as celebrating A Mom with a Lesson Plan‘s Blogaversary!

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  1. rachelle | tinkerlab says

    I love this post, Jamie. We're all about experiments in my house, and I get this sort of request OFTEN! It's funny to read about how you were scrambling to meet Henry's request. Just today my daughter and I were sewing and she asked me if we could make her a dress! Um, yeah, that would take about 3 hours and fabric that we didn't have. But we came up with a skirt compromise based on what was available and she was thrilled (and entertained for the whole afternoon).

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