Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Block Party! (No, Different Kind of Block)

Summer is a great time for active, physical play outdoors. But on some days, the heat or inclement weather can leave you stranded indoors and what do you do then? Well, you will not believe what we have in store for you today! The at-home activity we’re going to talk about today not only provides an open-ended, process-driven art experience, but it can also help you to beat the heat!

With this activity, kids can create their own unique and colorful ice sculpture, using common materials that you can find in any store, if not already in your house. Following these simple steps, and your own individual artistic method, you can create a work of art that is, in terms of its artistic appeal and its temperature, really cool!

• Water
• Empty Milk Carton
• Freezer
• Pan or plastic container
• Rock Salt
• Food Coloring
• Eye Droppers

1. Fill your empty milk carton with water and leave it in your freezer overnight.
2. Remove the solid block of ice from the milk carton (you’ll probably have to tear it open).
3. Place the block of ice in the pan or plastic container (if you’re doing this activity indoors, you may want to cover the surface with plastic to protect it from water damage).
4. Sprinkle a few grains of rock salt on the top of each block, observe what happens.
5. Use the eyedroppers to squeeze a few drops of food coloring on the top of each block; the coloring will run down into the tunnels created by the salt and will create beautifully colored network of veins throughout your ice block.

This activity is a great open-ended activity for kids, but can also provide an opportunity to talk about some other concepts with kids, such as the chemical reaction that occurs between the salt and ice!

Have fun and stay cool!

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