This was one of our science activities when J was almost 2 years old. I made several different colored ice cubes using food coloring. I had J separate the different colors into sandwich bags and we taped them to the dishwasher so they would be at his eye level. We described the ice together (cold, hard, slippery, heart-shaped in our case). I opened the freezer door and had him feel inside. He noticed that it was cold in the freezer. I told him that ice needed to be kept cold or it would melt. Since we had already worked with ice a little, I asked him if he remembered what happens when it gets warm and he did!! He replied “water!” By this point our ice bags had already begun to melt, so I had him look for water in the bags. He was excited to find some in a couple of the bags! Throughout the afternoon, we kept an eye on our ice bags. I pointed out that the ice was getting smaller and the water in the bag was increasing. We talked about the different properties of ice and water. By dinnertime, he was excited to show daddy his bags (of now colored water) and to tell him that the ice had become water because they got warm.
I got the general idea for this activity from http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/toddler-theme.htm.
You could easily turn this into a color mixing activity or get more specific by placing more ice in one bag and noticing how it melts slower this way, discuss why,…
Becca also blogs at Fun and Engaging Activities for Toddlers