Rainbow Ice and Salt Science Experiment for Preschool

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Today’s playful preschool theme is all about rainbows!

I decided to try a little bit of an ice and salt experiment with the kids. We compared 2 styles in a rainbow of color.

color salt melting ice preschool science

First! You will need to freeze 2 big blocks of ice. I used a simple plastic lunch box that was in a rectangle shape filled with water and left overnight. Next you will need some food coloring. I used normal liquid color as well as a purple gel coloring because no matter how much I try I can never get my mixes to turn purple!

The rest I was able to mix from the base colors as instructed on the food coloring box which I found in the cake aisle in the local grocery store. You will also need coarse salt.make color salt

Take out seven small bowls add half a tablespoon of salt to each and a few drops of coloring then mix. Don’t be shy to use your fingers. Once you have all the colors sprinkle a rainbow on your block of ice.color salt on ice

Yip, love this purple! It comes from this neon set of gel coloring.rainbow color ice

We watched for a few minutes as the salt ate away at the ice to produce craters everywhere it touched and the color from the salt went into these craters to look beautiful.melted ice with salt preschool science experiment

Our next part of the experiment was to see if we could get a better result with some water paints. This idea was inspired by Lalymom from the ebook Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science & Math Activities. Check it out!water paints

So here we salted our ice block with plain salt. It was kind of hard to see the ice making the craters because of the lack of color. THEN we started painting our rainbow with the water paints.painting rainbow with water colors

They took nicely and after a few minutes more of melting we were able to see our craters better.painting ice with salt

Take a look at that color!rainbow ice experiment

Painting the ice after the salt had been added was definitely a more visual experience versus the color salt.run off from ice experiment

The run off from this was even a rainbow! There were many ooh ahhs from the kids.rainbow preschool science experiment

Ofcourse! There was poking too as we needed to feel how the ice had melted. Yip, very rough stuff. Oh and the colors splattered on the shirt below, washed out.investigating rainbows on ice

See our other rainbow activities from last week!

Sort and Count Rainbow Puzzle Busy Bag

Rainbow Craft Stick Puzzle

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Rainbow Ice and Salt Science Experiment for Preschool

Rainbow theme activities for kids to make and do! Great for learning letters, simple rainbow science, technology connections and more!

More awesome Rainbow themed ideas!

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Comments

  1. You should NOT be touching a salt/ice combination. Please google “salt and ice challenge” before you decide to do this activity with your children

    • Those guys are putting salt ON their bodies then subjecting it to the ice!!! OUCH!
      Here the kids are sprinkling salt on the ice and watching. Painting with a paint brush with color. And the occasional poking with a finger AFTER the ice and salt had already reacted.

      Thank you for sharing this caution.

  2. This activity is gorgeous to look at and I bet just as fun to do. Can’t wait to try it. We did salt and trucks on ice the other day to show what the trucks put snow on the streets so I know the kids will love this activity too.

  3. I love this! We have tried the fishing for ice experiment where they saw the impact salt has on something frozen. This activity would extend their learning. We will have to try it.

  4. Both of these turned out so beautiful! My son would really enjoy this, so I want to give it a try soon!

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