The preschooler and I have been making jelly together for a while, and each time we do, we talk about the processes and what happens to the jelly when it gets hot, then cools down etc. I wanted to extend this and incorporate it into his messy play, so I decided to have a Treasure Ice session.
To prepare, I:
- filled ice cube trays with ‘treasures’- small buttons and beads, small plastic dinosaurs, foil wrapped chocolate coins and eggs, and even a fluffy chick from Easter!
- added coloured water to the trays
- froze a larger block of ice in a tupperware tub and placed a flower inside
- froze some love heart shaped cubes with similar treasures
When the ice was ready, I prepared the preschooler’s sand and water table:
- I popped the red treasure ice in one tray and the green in another.
- I put the love heart ice and the large block of ice in the main tray and placed the smaller trays on top so that they were hidden. I also placed a some toy tools and sieves in the large tray for the preschooler to discover later.
- I poured some salt into one jug, bicarbonate of soda into another, and warm water into another. I wanted the preschooler to decide which was the best material to melt the ice.
I took the sand and water table outside and invited the preschooler to play!
At first, he was very excited and could see the treasures inside the ice. He wanted them out, and fast! He quickly tipped all of the salt and bicarb into the green ice and exclaimed that it was fizzing and bubbling. He then decided to tip the warm water onto the red ice and shouted that it was melting. We then lifted the trays and fixed them to the sides so that the middle tray was exposed. The preschooler spent some time trying to break the ice with plastic spoons and hammers, before deciding that the warm water worked best!
We fetched more warm water from the kitchen and the preschooler poured it all into the red ice once more. Then he spent time transferring this water into the main tray to melt the large block of ice. Throughout this play he:
- told me that the warm water turned cold because it went on the ice
- the warm water was best at melting the ice
- the salt melted the ice slowly
- transferring water from one tray to another made red, green and purple water!
- wooden hammers were better at breaking the ice because they bash better
As the ice melted, we talked about the treasures that were left in the tray and the preschooler spent some time collecting the number beads and ordering them in the tray. He also ate some of the chocolate coins!
Throughout the session, I talked to the preschooler about what was happening with the ice, why it was melting and how we could help it to melt better. We then talked about making jelly and how freezing liquids makes them hard. He really seemed to relate the two processes of freezing and melting, and had lots of fun doing it. I left him to play with the icy water and treasures for as long as he wanted and he enjoyed using different tools and sifting his treasure for the rest of the afternoon!
I’m linking this post up to Rainy Day Mum’s Tuesday Tots