Water – A Mini Summer Unit

Compiled by Robyn, South Africa ~ © June 2005



Water is an extraordinary liquid.  It can change forms.  Water is liquid but when it freezes it turns to solid ice.  If water boils some of it becomes a gas called steam. 



Fun Fruity Ice

Pop one or two pieces of fruit such as grapes or berries into each ice tray compartment, fill with fruit juice and freeze.  Kids love eating these treats on a hot day.


Ice and Salt

Freeze a large block of ice in an empty ice-cream container.  Dissolve salt in warm coloured water.  Pour into a spray bottle.  Spray the block and see what happens.  If you squirt in one spot, you can create tunnels almost instantly.  Add some little people or animals and let them slide down the ice tunnels and play in the ice.  Another idea is to sprinkle rock salt on the large block of ice and drip liquid colour on it with eyedroppers.  The rock salt makes tracks and the colour follows the tracks.

Iced Toys

Freeze several small toys in a block of ice.  Let the children use butter knives or metal spoons to chip the ice away and find their toys.


Ice Eggs
Using a funnel, partly fill balloons with water and then add food colouring or kool aid to colour the water.  Don't shake the balloons too much - an uneven distribution of colour in the water gives a more interesting effect.  Tie the necks and put them in the freezer for a couple of days.  When frozen, peel off the balloons to reveal the colourful ice eggs and let children play with them outside.  Air bubbles and colour will have made interesting patterns in the ice. It is fun to touch them, melt them in a tub of water, try and crack them etc.  Use this as an opportunity to talk about how water freezes and melts, how colours blend, cold and hot etc. (these are not edible).

Ice Cube Melt

Choose a warm day for this science experiment.  Give each child the same number of ice cubes.  Tell them to find a place outside where they think the ice cubes will last a long time.  Let them hide their cubes in different places.  Check the cubes periodically and discuss some of the properties of ice and decide which will melt first, last and maybe the same.


Ice Sculptures

Fill assorted containers with plain water or coloured water.  Freeze the water. When frozen put the ice blocks into a PAPER BAG in the freezer so the container can be re-used.  The paper keeps the blocks from freezing together into a block mess.  It is up to you when you have enough blocks. You can build your structure in a kiddie pool. Watch it melt then add warm water and enjoy a swim. Make sure there is not too much food colouring. You don't want to turn your children purple.

Obtain two jars and their lids. Fill one jar with ice cold water and the other with room temperature water. Observe the results. Condensation occurs when the vapours in the air become cool enough to condense and form water droplets.


Use two clear plastic glasses of the same size.  Measure one cup of water and place in each cup.  Mark the water level with a permanent marker.  Place one in a sunny window and the other somewhere else cooler in the room. Observe the glasses of water over the nest couple of days. Ask the children where the water is going.  Which is evaporating more quickly?  Evaporation occurs when the particles of water become warm enough that they turn into vapours, leaving the cup and escaping into the air.  Why did the water in the sun evaporate faster?


Water Play

Set up an outside water play area on hot summer’s days with a water table, little pools and spray bottles.  A bucket or dish tub filled with water can provide entertainment as well as a great learning experience.  Add a drop of food colouring, funnels, cups, dish soap, boats, plastic toys, brushes, sponges, ice, cold or warm water, baby dolls or play dishes to wash, balls, items that will sink or float.  Use measuring cups to measure different amounts of water.


Floating and Sinking

Some things can float on water.  Giant icebergs float in the sea because the ice is lighter than water!  Armbands stop you from sinking because they are filled with air.  Air is much lighter than water, so it helps you float.  Whether or not an object floats depends on its shape and what it is made out of.  Metal and Glass don’t usually float, but wooden objects float well.  Use a wading pool filled with water.  Place a number of things for the children to experiment with to examine the concepts of sinking and floating.  Predict ahead of time which things will sink and which things will float.


Sailboat Races

Make sailboats, either from pieces of cork with a toothpick and paper attached for a sail or using directions from Enchanted Learning.  After the sailboats are created, take them outside to a wading pool for sailboat races. Simple sailboat craft http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/boats/lid/


Paint on Wet Paper
You can also use this as a science experiment.  Explain diffusion, the spreading of the paint on the paper, through the water.


Wet chalk art
Soak some chalk in a bowl of water.  Let the children use the chalk to draw with.  Then allow the children to use dry chalk.


Paint with Water Books
Obtain some of those paint with water books and create a ‘magic’ picture.


Rainbow in a jar:
Take a large glass jar, fill it 3/4 with water. Drop a single drop of food colouring into the jar from about a foot above the jar, so the colouring makes its way almost to the bottom. Try different colours.



It’s raining, it’s pouring

The old man is snoring

He went to bed and bumped his head

And he couldn’t get up in the morning



Enchanted Learning’s Label Water Cycle Diagram



Enchanted Learning’s Water Theme

Enchanted Learning’s Water Cycle Page

Water Cycle Information from University of Michigan

Floating and Sinking Experiment

Kindergarten Kapers – Water cycle Lessons

Bubbles Theme from Step by Step

Ice Theme from Step by Step








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