How to make black ice on a plate? What is melting faster: ice or snow? Why is sand hard when it's cold? In cold weather, children can learn a lot about the element water. In this article you will find exciting experiments for the winter - or the freezer.

Experiments with water in kindergarten and at home

Toddler winter ice puddle

Photo: © Marco Kalbe

In winter, water changed the nature. When it's freezing cold outside, the water suddenly becomes ice, snow falls from the sky and on the exhale created a small cloud. These are examples of natural phenomena that particularly fascinate children every year.

Experiments with children: explore water and ice lends itself to the phenomena to go freezing, thawing and raining in detail on the ground. the weather does not play with, can support the freezer in most experiments. The more the children can experiment yourself, the more fun it is to them and the more stuck.

Below is a selection of winter experiments is described, but also can help a whole family to exciting moments in particular children aged 4 to 8 years well:

From ice water

Children need to touch everything. This is their natural way to explore things. Let them in a warm environment ice / ice cube in your hand. The children want to feel how cold ice. You suck it, it can get out of hand, etc. A towel as a base here is very convenient! By the time they realize that the ice melts and becomes water. Ice needs a cool ambient temperature, so as not to melt.

is made of water ice

Children love experimenting with water: Just a filled to the brim with water plastic box (no glass!) With lid overnight in the freezer / outside set. The children make a great discovery the other day. The solidified water swells out of the can, the lid is even frozen to the ice. When water freezes, it expands, because the individual water particles need more space. That's why ice cream has more air-filled cavities than water. In technical terms, it means that ice is not as dense as water.


A boat made of ice

The children give small pieces of ice in a container filled with cold water pot. They observed that ice floats on water. Of course, they have to check everything carefully with your hand here. Press down on the ice or put something on the ice. As in the first experiment, the ice cubes melt gradually until they finally disappear. Ice floats because it due to the air-filled cavities lighter than water (see. Also headed experiment).

Ice water

How can fish survive in the water when water freezes?
The children fill a glass with small diameter half full with water and place it in a frosty ambient temperature. After about 30 minutes - it may take longer in pendency of glass size and ambient temperature - check the children, what has changed. From above they look at a layer of ice. If you press this ice, it breaks. The first froze amount of water floats on the water surface. Then the ice gradually works down. Water freezes from the top down!

Are waters sufficiently deep, the water does not freeze close to the bottom in most cases. The temperature in the lower layers of water is seldom reach the freezing point. So fish survive the winter.


Flash Freeze

If the ground is frozen and rain falls on it, the result is that - especially feared by drivers - black ice. The children can try out nicely below freezing at already prolonged temperatures. Pour drop by drop water on the frozen asphalt. This works the same way when they drip the water on a chilled in the freezer plate. This is a leg-inspiring experiment because the children can observe how the water freezes quickly.

Steinharter sand

In winter sand to play is not suitable often because he frozen and is thus firmly. What's with the rock-hard sand about? This can easily adjust children. Two small plastic boxes are with dry sand (z. B. Vogel sand, alternatively no soluble coffee powder) filled. In a mix a little water so that the sand moist but not wet. Lid on it and down into the cold! After a few hours the children pick up the cans back into the heat. They take to the sand and can easily notice that the dry sand every single grain of sand, however, may be cold, move freely. The wet sand is against rock hard and firm. Although we speak of frozen sand, it is not the sand of frozen, but it is the water between the sand. The ice includes the grains of sand, so that they can no longer be moved.

salt water

Another beautiful experiment is to solidify saltwater and freshwater simultaneously. The children take two identical glasses with not too large diameter and fill a maximum of 1 cm high with water. one teaspoon of table water is stirred into a glass. Both glasses are made by the children in the freezer. After about 30 minutes, they look for. The fresh water is frozen, the salt water is liquid. Salt water does not freeze as quickly as fresh water. This is because salt water has a lower freezing point. When the children to wait a few hours longer, is also solidifies the salt water.

This is one of the reasons to seas / oceans late - if at all - forms a layer of ice.

Ice with salt dome

For children it is exciting to watch a snow plow. Depending on the weather clear snow plows not only snow but also sprinkle salt or Split. What about the salt on it? The kids can just try it by giving saline on ice. With a glass filled with a little water to solidify it into ice. The ice cover the child with a thin saline layer and put it out or into the freezer again. After a short time the original salt is gone. If the kids tilt the glass they realize is starting to water in the glass. It has formed water tastes salty. Salt has a melting effect.

The background is that there is a thin film of water on even the cold ice. Salt dissolves in this water film. The ice is always releases a new film of water by itself salt dissolves. Melts more and more ice. The salt water does not freeze in most cases, because salt water has a lower freezing point than water.

Snow - a different kind of ice

The highlight of any winter's snow. With the first snowfall no child should be kept in the house. but what about snow as opposed to ice? While ice can be easily produced, which does not apply to snow. Snow is formed only in heaven, and that then when temperatures are below freezing. In this environment, are formed from water vapor - instead of tiny water droplets - tiny ice crystals that combine to form snowflakes.

What is melting faster: snow or ice?

A nice experiment is the melting of the same amount of snow and ice. Here, the preparation of an adult is required, filling a glass to about two-thirds with water and overnight is in the freezer. The next day the children fill an identical glass with snow - with as much snow as in the other glass ice. Then the children can see how melting ice and snow slowly. Who it takes too long, which can accelerate the melting in a warm place! Snow is melting much faster than ice and gives significantly less water. This can be explained by the fact that the cavities filled with air are much greater than with ice in snow. This means that are significantly less water particles in the snow-glass. Less water particles result in less water. And less water particles melt faster.

Water on snow

The children form a larger ball of snow - but only so large that they can not raise up. While a child lifts the snow globe, another slowly poured water on it. "Sucks" like a sponge the snow globe that water. If there is too much water, the water drips down out of the snow globe. This experiment demonstrates very nice that there must be voids in the snow.


Children see adults again questioningly when she suddenly produce with the air they breathe, a little cloud. There is a beautiful experiment of this phenomenon. Relatively warm water is filled by adults in a pot and put in the frosty air. While indoors little or no steam is visible, it evaporated out suddenly very clear from the pot. For children it seems likely that the water must be very hot. The children are allowed to touch the water - if they dare. They are very surprised when they find that the water is not hot.

Warm air can basically hold more water vapor than cold air. Water evaporates over the warm water. In the cold air is no capacity for as much water vapor. Therefore, tiny drops of water are formed from a portion of the water vapor again. The trend there is a cloud when the temperature difference between water and ambient air is very large. In the humid air that we breathe, it is exactly the same.

Recommended reading

During the experiments is described here deal in particular with the melting and freezing of water, I'd like to recommend a picture book for further reading, which represents the evaporation / evaporation or condensation of water rather at the center: "Nela forscht - As the water comes into the cloud "(12.90 euro).