How Those Animal Toys Can be Turned Into a Simple, Fun Science Activity For Toddlers

It is never too early to introduce children to science. Toddlers with their curious minds are like little sponges, waiting to absorb everything they experience. And since science is all around us, why not introduce them to it early on? 

Science experiments need not be complex.  Even something as simple as observing how salt helps to melt ice faster is an amazing experience for kids. So here is a fun way to learn this concept and have a gala time! 

My son kept himself busy for so long in this activity that it gave me a much-needed breather. I even happily managed to capture his antics on the camera. He played, explored, observed, experimented and learnt a lot with this simple exercise. 


Supplies You Need:

  • Water
  • Animal figurines frozen in water
  • Edible colors
  • Salt
  • Small plastic bottle with holes in the cap
  • Spoons
  • Containers
  • Tray
  • Large vessel or tub


Concepts Learnt:

  • Heat and cold
  • The phenomenon of melting of ice to become water
  • Color mixing
  • Salt melts ice faster (salt lowers the freezing point of ice)
  • Excavation


Skills Developed:

  • Sensory
  • Practical Life
  • Fine motor


And you are ready to go!




Fill the small plastic bottle with water and put on the cap. Place the ice cubes (with the animals) in a large vessel or tub. Ask your toddler squeeze out some water over the ice from the holes .  It is delightful to watch those small muscles work hard to squeeze out water from the bottle. My son would empty out the bottle and ask for more water again and again!  This activity improves fine motor skills.




Let your toddler feel the ice. Talk about its characteristics, that it is cold, it melts and becomes water, Let the child watch it happening too. It’s a great sensory activity. 




Mix different edible food colours with a little water and arrange them in the containers over a tray. Allow your toddler to use the spoons and pour this colored water over the ice. This develops the practical life skill of using a spoon to handle liquid. This will also give your toddler exposure to colors and how colors mix with each other to form a new color. 



You or your toddler can sprinkle some salt over the ice and see how the ice forms crater like structures and how colored water makes the effect look even more beautiful. 



After playing with this setup for some time, my son finally got the animals out of the ice. Then he declared that he is giving them a bath. He continued to sprinkle water over them. Then I gave him a small napkin and he wiped the animals dry. Such a cute sight! You can watch the fun in the video below. 



Simple activities like these are highly entertaining for toddlers, and as an added bonus they learn a lot. This is also an example of reusing the same old toys to create a new and interesting activity. A handy tip - if you do not have edible colors, you can use turmeric to create yellow color, beetroot for red and spinach for green. 

I would love to know how your toddler enjoyed this activity. Do share with us any other wonderful experiments that you have enjoyed with your kids.


Also read: DIY Animal Homes' modelsDIY Farm Animal-Theme based activities for Toddlers – Part 1

All pictures in this article are original and have been contributed by the author.


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