Why Do Ice Cubes Melt? Science for Preschoolers


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Has your preschooler ever wondered what happened to the ice cubes in his cold drink? They were there before, but now they’re gone! Have you ever warned your preschooler to eat her Popsicle quickly, before it melted? You may have been too busy wiping up melted red Popsicle to explain why it melted before she could eat all of it.

Most preschoolers know that ice melts, but they may not understand why. Here are two preschool science experiments that will help your child learn why ice melts, and help them better understand the world around them.

Many things can cause ice to melt. This first science experiment will help your preschooler learn that heat makes ice cubes melt.

What You Need:

  • Ice cubes (all the same size)
  • Small bowls
  • An energetic preschooler

What You Do:

Put one ice cube in each bowl. Help your child place the bowls in various spots around your home, indoors and out.

Have your child watch the ice cubes around the house and see which ones melt first. He will need lots of energy to run around to each ice cube.

Which ice cubes melted first? Ask your child why he thinks some of the ice cubes melted more quickly than others.

If it’s a sunny day, you can put one ice cube in the sun and another in the shade. Which does your child think will melt faster?

What Your Preschooler Learned:

Heat makes ice melt.

Heat isn’t the only thing that can make ice melt. Here’s another preschool science experiment to help your child learn what else can make an ice cube melt.

What You Need:

  • Table salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • 4 Ice cubes (all the same size)
  • 4 small bowls
  • Tablespoon
  • Magnifying glass (optional)

What You Do:

Help your child examine the salt, pepper and sugar.

  • What do they feel like?
  • What do they smell and taste like?
  • How do they look different from each other? If you have a magnifying glass, your child can take a closer look.

Place one ice cube in each of the bowls.

Put a tablespoon of salt on the first ice cube, a tablespoon of sugar on the second ice cube, and a tablespoon of pepper on the third ice cube. Don’t put anything on the fourth ice cube.

Which ice cube does your child think will melt first? Watch what happens!

What Your Preschooler Learned:

Heat isn’t the only thing that can make ice melt. Sugar and salt make ice melt, too.

Pepper doesn’t make ice melt faster. Sometimes, pepper makes ice melt more slowly.

Some More Things to Think About:

You can help your child apply what she learned to the world around her by asking these questions.

  • How can we keep people from falling down on icy sidewalks in winter?
  • How can we make icy roads safe for cars?
  • Why do freshwater lakes freeze faster than saltwater bodies of water?

Copyright 2008, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.

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About Rachel

I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to five children, ages 25 to 4. I am a freelance writer and the editor and publisher of Christian-Parent.com.

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