Preschoolers are fascinated by how colors can be mixed together to form new ones. This fun activity combines color mixing with the concept of melting for extra science fun. Your child will enjoy making colorful designs on the magic ice, but because food coloring may stain, be sure to wear old clothes and protect your table with newspaper.
What You Do:
- Pour ½ cup of water in each of the bowls. Show your child how to use the measuring cup and let her pour the water in the bowl herself.
- Put a few drops of each color of food coloring into each bowl until the coloring is the desired intensity.
- Place the ice cubes in the shallow dish or pan.
- Discuss primary colors and how these three colors can be used to make all of the other colors.
- Show your child how to use the eyedropper to pick up some of the red color water and dribble it on the ice cube. Watch how the water reacts to the ice cube.
- Have your child dribble blue water on the same ice cube. Talk about how the blue water combined with the red water to make purple, and discuss the designs the colored water makes on the ice.
- When she is done experimenting with red and blue, give your child another ice cube and let her use yellow and blue to make green. Be sure to also experiment with the red and yellow color combination to make orange, too.
- After your child has experimented with all the color combinations, let her mix all of the different colors on the ice to see what happens. You can also show her how to pick up some of the new colors that she made with the dropper and put them on another piece of ice.
- As she plays with the ice, the ice will begin to melt. Ask her why she thinks the ice is melting and explain that ice melts when the air temperature goes above 32 degrees, because that is the temperature at which freezing occurs.
When you are finished with the activity, have your child help you clean up. Although she may have very colorful hands, she will be sure to remember the lessons she's learned about making new colors and the cool effect of colored water on ice!