A fun activity to teach about the effects of salt on ice is just a baking sheet away!
What you'll need:
- rimmed baking sheet/cookie sheet
- Matchbox cars or something of the like
- salt (table salt is fine!)
- sandwich bag
- Fill a baking sheet up with a thin layer of water. Place in freezer and let it freeze completely.
- Put ice cube in a bag.
- I started by filling an ice tray with her and freezing it. This way she could see that ice is just frozen water.
- Give a bag with 1 cube of ice. Let them roll it around. Instruct them to rub it, blow on it, etc. Ask questions like, "What is happening to the ice? Why do you think it's melting?" Make sure you explain after that it was the heat from the air and their hands that helps it melt.
- Pull out tray of frozen water. Let them roll and skid cars across it. Point out how slippery it is, asking what would happen if there was ice on our roads outside? If there isn't heat to melt the ice, our cars would slip.
- I then made comments like, "I wonder if we can put something on the ice to help it melt. What do you think?"
- If desired, try other items in the house like cornstarch, flour, cocoa powder. Let them pour salt on the ice. Make observations together about what happens when the salt is put on top of the ice.
- Let them roll the cars. You should find some traction, as well as the ice melting. Explain that we also put salt on the roads to help melt the ice and keep cars from slipping. Point it out next time you see it!
This is a fun activity to do, especially if your kiddos are into cars.