Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Ice Capades

on February 21, 2012

Ice in the shade

Ice in the sun

We wrapped up our Letter I activities this morning with a series of ice-related activities. We began be reading about water and ice, then discussing how temperature can change water (a liquid) into ice (solid) or steam (gas). Little Bear stuck her hand under the kitchen tap and confirmed that the water coming out of it was indeed liquid. Next, she reached into the freezer and confirmed that the ice cubes were solid.

We then borrowed an idea I saw on another blog last week to create an icy Valentine for Little Bear’s squirrel friends. She poured one cup of birdseed into a heart mold, but quickly discovered that the birdseed did not hold its shape. Next, she covered the birdseed with water. Still, it didn’t hold its shape. So, we stuck the mold in the freezer, grabbed a tray of ice cubes, and headed outside.

Ice in water

There, Little Bear put blocks of ice in different environments to see how quickly they would melt. She put ice cubes …

  • in the shade
  • in direct sunlight
  • in Little Bear’s water bottle (filled with room temperature water)
  • in Mommy’s insulated water bottle (filled with cold water)
  • in a bowl of salt
  • in a plastic zipper bag.

Ice in a bowl of salt

She also left two cubes behind, one in the freezer and on in the refrigerator.

Feeding the birds ...

After distributing her ice cubes, she played for a bit, threw a few handfuls of birdseed out for the birds, then sat down at a picnic table with me to read, while our ice cubes transformed from solids to liquids.

Checking progress ...

Little Bear soon found that the ice cube in her water bottle melted first, followed by the ice in the salt, the ice in the bag, the ice in the sun, the ice in the shade, the ice in Mommy’s insulated water bottle, and the ice in the refrigerator. She noted that while most of the ice cubes melted quickly (10-25 minutes), the ice cube in Mommy’s insulated water bottle lasted a couple of hours and the ice in the refrigerator survived for nearly eight hours. The ice cube in the freezer, of course, remained unchanged.

"Did you call my name?"

Following our ice adventures, Little Bear once again practiced writing the letter Ii, the completed cutting, coloring, and pasting activities. She watched WordWorld while I fixed lunch and surprised me by correctly sounding out several of the words. She enjoyed more story time with Daddy while I took Baby Bear in for a well child check.

An Icy Squirrel Valentine

Then it was time to check the state of our squirrel Valentine project. I opened the freezer, and she discovered that five hours in the freezer had transformed birdseed and water into a cohesive solid. She was outside yelling, “Squirrels! Squirrels! Come here! I have a Valentine for you!” beforeĀ  I even got the heart out of the mold, and I assumed that any squirrels in the neighborhood would have taken flight. When I got outside, though, I found that one brave critter (who’d apparently been feasting on the birdseed she scattered earlier in the day) stuck around.

Mr. Squirrel soon came to see what the Loud Human Child had left near his tree, and he apparently liked what he saw. He made a valiant effort to drag the 6-inch chunk of ice and seeds off to his lair, much to Little Bear’s delight. (Of course, the camera battery was dead by that time …) He succeeded in dragging it only a couple of inches before giving up and returning to the easier meal of loose seeds scattered earlier in the day. This being Texas, though, I have no doubt the icy Valentine will melt quickly, and I suspect our neighborhood rodents will go to bed with full tummies tonight.


2 Responses to “Ice Capades”

  1. Jane says:

    Love seeing the creative ideas! TFS!

  2. Stefanie says:

    So much fun!! Great week.

    Popping in from Pre-k corner.

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