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Learning Laboratory: Exploring Ice

Lily carrying a chunk of ice

I’ve always thought of spring, summer, and fall as the big outdoor learning seasons, but WOW, my kids have proven me wrong this winter! I love watching them learn and explore outside, no matter the weather!

learning about ice in the wintertime

Our snow had been rained away and the new snow wasn’t sticking, but there were two inches of solid ice in the top of our sandbox (which had blown off in a big windstorm earlier in the week. The kids figured out how to get the ice out (without getting absolutely drenched in ice water), and then set off breaking the chunks into smaller pieces:

learning about ice in the wintertime

Small enough for even Lily to pick up and carry about:

learning about ice in the wintertime

Emma found an empty planter box, which she brought over:

creating an outdoor science center for kids

And all three kids filled the container with chunks of ice, discussing textures and lines in the ice as they did so!

creating an outdoor science center for kids

With three kiddos big enough to bundle up and play outside, no mountains of snow too high to climb in, and Lily finally adding boots to her snow attire, I’m loving this winter!!!

learning laboratory at mama smiles

What have you been learning about? Please link up any fun, creative, exploratory learning activities below (button code is in the sidebar)! Last week I loved this puppy sculpture and this description of teaching kids history. I’ll be referring to this post on tree bark for our springtime walks, and looking here for outdoor play kitchen inspiration!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

27 thoughts on “Learning Laboratory: Exploring Ice”

  1. Grumpy Grateful Mom

    Your kids are such great explorers! It looks like you have a fun back yard to explore too. :)

  2. Hurrah for Lily being fully winterized! :) Love it that they are enjoying the cold and learning lots at the same time.

  3. Ice is fun – we had lots of icicles! Love the photos and the colors and love the picture of Emma with the planter – great one!

  4. That looks like so much fun! I think the very best times in life are when kids are able to just be out in nature, exploring and doing their own thing. They’re so easily amused and fascinated by things like ice, and it is great that you encourage this! :D

  5. It’s awesome that you have such outdoorsy kids. It probably helps you right now when you need more rest.

  6. I agree that when they are old enough to go outside by themselves it is SOOOOOO NICE! My kids are at the point that they can go to the park around the corner on their own, so awesome for us all.

    My oldest loves science and made some goo and volcanoes 2 days ago. She’s such a whiz with that kind of stuff.

  7. Funny – our snow stuck and we have about six inches on the ground.

    My kids love to play with ice and they love to bring snow inside the house!

  8. Wrapping up warm and playing outside in the winter is great and they look so busy playing with the ice! Also thanks so much for offering to co-host the All Year Round Blog Carnival, I’m so pleased you’d like to hold the carnival at Mama Smiles too. We’ve just about to go out now but I’ll email later today about arranging it. :)

  9. Looks like they enjoyed their ice exploring.

    My boys did the same thing last year. They are still waiting on the snow to come here. :) I’ll be looking at all those links too!

    Have a great monday!!

    1. Last year we had SO much snow they could barely move in it! This year has been perfect!

      Hope your boys get their snow soon =)

  10. We set a glass of water outside and watched it turn into ice. Then we brought it in to watch it melt. I don’t know how much of it Ingrid “got” but we talked a lot about it!! Something had to stick, right?

    1. I’m sure it stuck a little – this morning on the way to school Emma was asking to freeze a bowl of water outside. So I guess we’ll be doing that this afternoon!

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