The Melt-an-Ice Cube game is a really popular work in my classroom this week. It is set up to be played by two children at once. Since it involves ice, water, and salt, I have it permanently (but temporarily) set up on my free-standing work station. Below you can see how it looks all set up.
The purpose of the game is to see who can melt their ice cube first. Additionally, they begin to discover which actions facilitate the melting process better than others. The directions for the game are printed out, laminated, and posted on the wall above the work. You can see a close-up of them in the photo below. You can print them for yourself from Hummingbirded. My assistant and I demonstrated this game to the whole class so they could see how to take turns rolling the dice and doing the task that corresponds with the number on the dice. We modelled each step so they could see how to do it. Interestingly, my assistants were the ones who had to demonstrate putting the ice cube down their shirt each time we presented it. Hmmmmmm :0) In addition to the laminated direction sheet, the activity includes a tray which holds two bowls. Each child has one bowl to hold their ice cube during the game. There is also a little holder for the die, a bowl of water (for floating the ice) and a container holding the salt shaker.
In the photo below you can see the two bowls with the ice cubes in each and the die.
And here is a close-up of the water bowl and salt shaker. We have set it up so that the bowl is already filled with water and it just stays right there during the whole work period.
When the children are finished, they carry the red bowls to the classroom sinks and pour out the water and/or ice. I also have a basket next to the work with a washcloth which they use to dry the bowls as they replace them. They can also use this cloth to wipe off their hands during the activity. It has been fun to see how well they are doing independently following the steps of this game. There have been some giggles and squeals as ice cubes are slid down shirts. AND........we had to have a little talk about not tasting or licking the ice cubes. Other than that, I think it's been a fun activity. It does take about 10 minutes or longer to completely melt the ice cubes, but they are definitely showing they have the interest and concentration to stick it out until the end. When they finish, I try to catch them and ask them about their observations about what things helped melt the ice the fastest.