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Icy, Icy Ocean

Learn about Icebergs by experimenting with warm water, salt and ice for a hands-on learning activity.

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Lets learn about icebergs in this hands-on activity!

Explain that polar oceans are filled with huge chunks of floating ice. These chunks of ice are called icebergs. The temperature of the air and the water in polar regions is generally too cold to allow icebergs to melt, even though the water is full of salt. Once the icebergs drift to warmer regions or the temperature rises, they begin to melt.

Get a (little) helping hand. Have a towel on hand for children to use to dry and warm up their hands after playing in the ice water. 

Travel the world. Have you ever seen an Iceberg? Provided real images of polar oceans, animals that live there, and images of icebergs. 

Explain how ice forms and melts. Experiment with warm water and salt. Pour warm water over the ice chunks. Do they begin to melt? Sprinkle salt over the ice. What happens? Salt melts ice.

Materials

For this developmental activity you will need:

Large tub

Water

Chunks of ice

Cups

Scoops

Spoons

Towels

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Language, Physical, Social

Skills

Curiosity, Life Science, Fine motor skills

Indicators:

Expressive Language 

Observation and Inquiry 

Physical Science 

Earth Science and Environment 

Fine Motor Development

Instructions

Step 1:

Fill a large tub with cold water. Add various-sized chunks of ice. You can make large ice chunks by freezing water in milk cartons or plastic bowls.

Step 2:

Invite children to use their hands to play in the icy water.

Step 3:

Add cups, scoops, and spoons. Challenge children to use scoops or spoons to pick up the ice chunks. Keep towels nearby for cleanup and to warm up chilly hands.

Keep the fun going.

Experiment with warm water and salt. Pour warm water over the ice chunks. Do they begin to melt? Sprinkle salt over the ice. What happens? Salt melts ice.

Playful Questions

How do icebergs move? 

Do you think icebergs are under or above the water? Or both?

How do your hands feel after being in the water? 

What types of animals live near icebergs?

Do icebergs melt?

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