We’ve got another fun ice experiment for kids to share today, using little fishing rods with toy fish frozen in ice on the end. The aim of the activity is to investigate whether ice melts faster in hot or cold water.
Younger children just love the idea of fishing and seeing the toy fish fall off the stick. If you have an older child this is a great experiment for learning how to work scientifically.
Ice Experiment for Kids
What you need to go ice fishing
Water – warm and cold
Plastic fish – we used these Learning Resources Fun Fish Counters
Ice cube tray
How to go ice fishing
Place water into ice cube trays with fish ( or other small objects ) inside. Add a piece of string to each compartment. Make sure the string doesn’t end up in more than one section, as some of ours stuck together.
Once frozen, remove carefully and tie each ice cube to a stick.
Add warm water to one tub and cold water to another. Ask the children to feel the water ( make sure it’s not too hot ) and predict which will melt the ice the fastest.
Place one fishing rod into each tub and start the timer.
Observe the changes to the ice every 30 seconds, how soon can you see the difference between the ice in the warm and ice in the cold water?
Watch for the fish falling out of the ice and record the time.
Were your predictions correct?
Questions to ask
How does the ice change over time?
How can you tell which is melting the fastest?
What could you do to speed up the melting?
Can you try using hot, warm and cold water recording all the times taken for the ice to melt?
Are the results different if you carry out the activity outside?
Can you design a table to record your results?
Can you measure the temperature of the water? Does it drop as the ice melts? How big is the difference in temperature?
Things to think about
How could we make this experiment more accurate?
- We should make sure exactly the same amount of water is in each ice cube and that the fish are the same size.
- Do you know what the variables and constant factors are?
Story book ideas
As soon as we finished this activity my girls started reciting Tiddler, which then led to some fun storytelling and counting with the fish counters.
More Ice Experiments for Kids
Painting on ice is great fun as you can paint a picture, wipe it clean and start again!
Set up an ice excavation! The best thing about these is that you can theme them to match a child’s interest.
Ice fishing is also one of my Tray a Day activities. The idea is that you set up a tray of materials and let the kids set up the investigation ( with adult supervision).
Includes affiliate links.