Winter Science Experiment – How Cold Affects Liquids


This was a challenge to think up, but it was a fun one. Living in South Florida, we don't experience seasons like the rest of the country. Winter here means trading in your tank tops for short-sleeve shirts. I decided we would do an experiment that involved experiencing the cold and learning how it affects liquids. This is a fun science experiment for children of all ages!

Freezing Liquids Science Experiment

For younger children:

  • Have children compare and contrast cold weather vs. warm weather.
  • Teach children how when a liquid freezes, it becomes a solid.
  • Show children how to tell time to the hour to determine how long it takes each liquid to freeze.

For older children:

  • Teach children how to create a bar graph representing the freezing times for each liquid.
  • Discuss the concepts of solid, liquid, and gas and how they relate to the density of a substance.
  • Introduce the terms freezing point and melting point.

Directions for Freezing Liquids Science Experiment:

Begin by gathering a variety of liquids. We used dish liquid, chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, coconut milk, orange juice, rubbing alcohol, and water.

Freezing Liquids Science Experiment

We filled each area of an ice cube tray with a different liquid. Assist your child in pouring the liquids carefully and be sure to wash their hands well after.

Bryce with juice - Freezing Liquids Science Experiment for Preschoolers

If possible, label each opening so that you can easily identify each liquid. We used a dry erase marker for easy clean up. If you do not have an area to label each opening, make a diagram on paper as a reference tool.

Tray with liquids - Setting up a Cold science experiment for Preschoolers

Place the ice cube tray in the freezer. Have your child make predictions about what will happen to the liquids when placed in the freezer. Check every hour to see if the liquids are frozen. This is a wonderful opportunity to work on skills such as telling time, creating a bar graph with the liquids named on the X-axis and number of hours until the liquid freezes on the y-axis, and understanding the difference between liquids and solids. When all of the liquids have had an opportunity to freeze, remove the tray from the freezer.

Frozen liquids - Science Experiment for Preschoolers

Invite your child to touch the frozen liquids. How do they feel now that they are solids? Is the texture different? What about the temperature? Are there any liquids that did not freeze? How did the outcomes compare to your child's predictions? What other observations can we make?

Lydia touches frozen liquids - Science with preschoolers is a hands on experience

How do you encourage hands on science and learning with your preschoolers?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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