Ice excavations are great fun for kids of all ages. Younger children will enjoy pouring warm water over the ice to rescue small figures, while older children can use the opportunity to set up a science investigation thinking about which variables to change and which to keep constant to make it a fair test.
I set up this froggy rescue for my 3 year old last year with all the frogs in one large ice cube, but another idea is to freeze frogs ( or another plastic animal ) separately in small pots and try different methods of melting the ice to rescue the animals.
Spoons or droppers
Salt – optional
Fill a medium sized container with plastic frogs and top up with water.
Place in a freezer until frozen.
Before you want the activity to start, remove the ice from the freezer and leave to melt for 5-10 minutes.
Use droppers or spoons to drip warm water over the ice to melt it.
Older children can sprinkle salt over the ice to help it melt faster.
Ideas for recording the results
Draw pictures or take photographs of what the ice looks like at set time intervals.
Key vocabulary – ice activity for preschoolers
Create a storyboard or cartoon about the froggy rescue.
Imagine what the frozen frogs would say if they could ask for help.
Freeze smaller ice blocks with just one frog inside and set up a froggy rescue race! Try leaving the ice blocks in different places, such as outside, inside, fridge, freezer, in the sun and in the shade.
Try to predict the order in which the ice will melt.
More icy experiments
Try one of my other easy ice excavations!
Have a go at painting on ice.
This rainbow ice excavation is gorgeous from Toddler Approved.
Find out why salt melts ice.
Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by Emma Vanstone