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What Melts in the Sun?

Is there a better place to spend a hot summer day than outside?! This activity is a great way to explore what will melt in the sun and why. The possibilities are endless and children will want to do this activity over and over again!

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What melts in the sun?

This activity is super easy to put together and very interesting for children to complete repeatedly. Leave the decision-making up to the children and you’re bound to have some wacky objects in your muffin tin to experiment with!

🔄 Switch it up: Try an experiment to prevent objects from melting in the sun. What can you use to help slow down the melting process?

❓Different brands = different results? Experiment with brands. Does one brand or type of cheese melt faster than another? 

🔍 Magnify it! A magnifying glass can be used to examine objects up close to see if their state is changing (solid to liquid, for example).


For this activity you will need:

Muffin tin

Random objects from around the home!

Cupcake liners (optional)

Magnifying glass (optional)

Learning Outcomes






Asking questions that can be answered through observation


Step 1:

Have your child pick out 12 random objects from around the home that you don’t mind melting. They can be food objects, toys, nuts and bolts, nature, ice, you name it - add it to the collection!

Step 2:

Place the optional cupcake liners in the muffin tin if you don’t want it to get damaged. Then, place each object in one of the circles in the tin. Have your child predict what will happen to each of the objects. Will they melt? Stay the same? Get really hot?

Step 3:

Place your tray of goodies in a sunny spot. This can be inside or outside! If you have a magnifying glass, use this to make the objects melt faster.

Step 4: 

Check on the tray after a couple of hours — what do you notice about each object?

⬆️ For older preschoolers:  Have older children explain their hypothesis for each object as to whether it’ll melt or not. 

⬇️ For younger toddlers: Objects (especially metal objects) may get hot! Keep an eye out on little ones touching the objects while they’re in the sun as they may be hot to the touch!

Playful Questions

Why did X melt and not Y?

What is in the chocolate that made it melt?

What would happen if we left the tray outside, not in the direct sun?

What would happen to our bodies if we were outside in the sun for a few hours?

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