1859 was an important year, it was the first time humanity realized we won't have to sail to the north pole to bring back ice cubes for much longer. I am of course talking about the invention of the freezer.
Without it, today's experiment would just have your kids playing with water, no science, no fun, no good. My Anytime Winter Palace is the kind of activity that requires the bare minimum of preparation but will last as long as your ice cubes can keep from melting.
We like this activity because it is sensory, develops a steady and focused hand, and can build out many of shapes your child's imagination can conjure.
On a more grownup note, this fun little activity touches on structural engineering and material science because we must first understand the characteristics of the material before we can build with it.
For instance, did you know that ice melts slower in salt water than fresh water?
And in the case of Ice, salt has a particular effect on it allowing it to melt at a colder temperature. This is useful because it is this effect that allows us to glue ice cubes to one another as the water again refreezes. Like so:
Here is what you will need:
1- Ice cubes (made into all kinds of shapes using cups or standard cubes for a more square palace)
2- 2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl
3- Optional: A large dark colored towel that will go in the wash or thrown away when done. Since ice slips, a towel will do a better job at keeping things still.
4- A variety of food coloring (optional but keeps the fun going a while longer)
5- A pipette (you should always have these, it's amazing how versatile they are)
For some extra fun and to create a snow effect, sprinkle some baking soda all over it, then using your trusty pipette, squeeze some lemon juice or vinegar on it for a fizzy after-effect. This is how you combine 2 science experiments in one. If that isn't bang for your buck, we don't know what is!
Speaking of Bang for your Buck, is your child's birthday coming up?
We have a great Science Birthday package right here in Doha, Qatar and an even better in-person experience where your kid and their friends will be raving about science, engineering and equating both with fun. That is a win any way you look at it.
Check us out here.