For our Potions and Spells week of camp we create soaps and candles, using essential oils, Bug Bite salves from basil and lip balm from mint to name a few projects. These are great for kids to learn the medicinal properties of herbs but we need to follow the recipes in order for these wonderful treats to work. It was important to us to come up with some exploratory projects in between the very structures ones so that kids could use their minds for observations and discussions amongst themselves. We came up with ice. It seemed like a great material for the kids to make a transformation to occur.
Okay so now where are we going to get 4 big blocks of ice? I decided to make them by using washed milk cartons, filling them with water and freezing them for two days. After frozen, I ripped off the outer milk carton to reveal a beautiful solid block of ice. We diluted some liquid watercolor for each little artist along with a pipette and poured salt into cups for each of them. They loved the salt so have a lot on hand. We use salt so much in the studio that I buy 25 pound bags from smart and final.
We then let the children explore adding the color and the salt, which sparked a lot of conversation and observation. They mixed colors on the ice to create new colors and watch it run off the ice. They melted the ice using the salt.
And boy did they explore. We had the children working in teams and they really spent the time working together with their peers as they melted and dyed the ice.