Making homemade ice pops and studying freezing

Something entirely prompted by Sarah this week was a study of freezing and boiling… and she decided to start by asking, “Can we make our own ice popsicles?” We ended up making not only a true “ice popsicle” out of water, but also an orange juice pop, two lemonade pops and an iced tea pop.

Ingredients for homemade ice pops

Here are our ingredients – including popsicle sticks, press-and-seal to hold the sticks in place, and our drinks, as well as some Crummy Disposable Plastic Cups (all I had to contribute to her spur-of-the-moment idea; they made some weird-shaped pops, but they’re easy to crack to get off the popsicle!)

Ice pops before being frozen

Sarah poured the liquid into the cups (leaving room for the ice to expand); I helped her cover the tops with press-and-seal, and we cut small slits in the covers to slide the popsicle sticks through.

Homemade ice pops in the freezer

Into the freezer they went… and we promptly kind of forgot about them for a day or so!

In the meantime, Sarah decided to “play” with boiling water and a pan full of ice. She figured out that ice floats (and I explained why); learned why the ice cracks when you pour hot water onto it; and guessed and then experimented to see which would “win” – whether the ice would make the boiling water cold first, or the boiling water would melt the ice first.

Experimenting with boiling water and ice cubes

We’re lucky to have a cool-bottomed electric teapot, which allows Sarah to do things like make tea and experiment with hot water without hurting herself on the kettle!

She did all sorts of boiling-freezing-floating-sinking experiments, and we talked about why the different things happened the way they did. We also reenacted the Titanic sinking with an old spray-paint-can lid in the pot of water (THAT was something!)

All in all, she must have spent a few hours discovering new facts about the simplest thing – water – and trying to hypothesize and test what it would do in different situations. I was thrilled… and she was almost entirely self-directed, which was also neat!

Eating a homemade ice pop

And, yes, we ate our popsicles – here’s Sarah with one of the lemonade ones. They tasted pretty good! 🙂

Linking up today to the All Year Round Blog Party: Summer Edition.

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