Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Playful Science - Freezing and Melting: Flowers in Ice and Water

We are having some scorching summer weather at the moment, so we're spending lots of time outdoors and to keep cool we've been doing lots of things with water and ice.  

  One of the things we've had fun with is freezing things in water and then exploring them once frozen and as they melt.  Lots of simple, hands on science, playful learning and fun.

Chick collected some of the flowers, leaves and herbs from around the garden, including nasturtiums, cabbage, campanula, foxglove, borage and rosmary.  We try to make sure we have a selection of flowers, herbs and leaves for the kids to pick and play with and they are pretty good at knowing what they can and can't pick.  

After a night in the freezer they were ready and we took them outside to explore.  Chick had also wanted to freeze some balloons with water in so we had some ice balls to play with too.

The transformation from water to ice is so simple and yet so spectacular and irresistible to poke and prod and slip and slide.  

We talked about what they felt like to touch and what the petals felt like compared to what they felt like before freezing.  Simple science of state changes with lots of observations and descriptions here - hard or soft, rough and smooth, sharp, slippery, wet, dry, cold, warm etc.

There was lots of poking, prodding and exploring.

And Boo found it all pretty exciting too!

We also looked at how they were melting and watched them melt in the sun, in the shade and on top of the black wheelie bin, seeing where the ice melted fastest.

We talked about the heat from the sun and how black absorbs more light and heat than white that reflects more of the light and heat.

And of course you have to explore with your tongue!  We also talked about how some flowers are edible and some are poisonous.  After this we also made some borage flower ice cubes to have in drinks at tea time.

Last summer we've had fun with ice cube fabric painting.

The question is what shall we freeze next?


  1. This is such a fun activity and you are doing it at the right time of year. We seem to manage ice activities when it is cold!
    Have you tried freezing a large block of ice then adding some rock salt and food colouring? It makes ice sculptures.

  2. This is such a brilliant idea!


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