Developing an Early Love of Science One Experiment at a Time

Fishing for ice is a fun, easy, and quick kitchen science experiment for kids of all ages. Learn how salt melts ice and why people spread salt on their icy stairs and walkways during the winter.

Fun, easy, and quick science experiment for kids of all ages. Learn how salt melts ice, go fishing, and

Why Salt Melts Ice

Usually water freezes at 32° F (0° C), but when it is mixed with salt it lowers the freezing point significantly. This simply means the ice melts. We have used this same trick to make yummy treats like fruity ice slush and easy homemade ice cream!

For this experiment we used this phenomenon to do a little trick I like to call “Fishing for Ice”. We headed to the kitchen to gather the following supplies:

  • Cup full of water
  • A few ice cubes
  • Table salt
  • A piece of string

Fun, easy, and quick science experiment for kids of all ages. Learn how salt melts ice, go fishing, and

We completed our salt melts ice experiment by following these directions:

  • Place the ice cubes in the cup of water. They will float on top.
  • Try to “fish” for an ice cube with the string. It won’t “catch” anything.
  • Place the string in the water and across the top of the ice cubes.
  • Now sprinkle a little bit of salt across the ice cubes. Wait for a minute or so.
  • Pull the string out and see what you caught!
Fun, easy, and quick science experiment for kids of all ages. Learn how salt melts ice, go fishing, and

Why Does the Ice Stick to the String?

When salt is sprinkled over ice it melts. However, when it is used in such a small amount, like in our experiment, the water around the ice freezes again quickly. This means that the string gets trapped as the water around it refreezes, making it stick to the ice. We were able to freeze all of our ice cubes to one piece of string. How about you?

More Hands-On Fun for Kids –>

Make your own soda can submarine and learn how a real submarine dives and surfaces! Exciting and easy five minute science activity for kids.
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By |2018-01-12T23:00:00+00:00November 22nd, 2014|Five Minute Science, Kitchen Science, Science, STEM Saturday|19 Comments


  1. Britt November 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    This looks so easy and fun! I love finding simple things to teach my kids. (I usually learn as much as they do!)

    • Crystal November 22, 2014 at 2:01 am - Reply

      I know, that’s one of the reasons I love doing science experiments with my kids, too! It keeps my brain working 🙂

  2. Samantha November 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    So cool! 😉 I’ll have to try this with Caden!

  3. Brandi Jordan November 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I love this activity! So much fun for little learners!

  4. Mum of One November 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing with the Monday #pinitparty

  5. Carrie November 29, 2014 at 1:10 am - Reply

    What a great activity!! My daughter will love this! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  6. Eileen Teo December 5, 2014 at 12:53 am - Reply

    love this activity when it is summer time! so fun and simple to play with. Thank you for sharing with us #Pintorials

    • Crystal December 8, 2014 at 4:57 am - Reply

      Yes, definitely a great summer activity when it is hot outside! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Latasha Vernon February 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      It snowed today and I ran across your website (this science experiment) today. Perfect timing! We just completed the experiment and now my 2 y/o knows that salt melts ice. Looking forward to more experiments.

    • Crystal February 18, 2015 at 4:40 am - Reply

      AWESOME!! Your story inspires me 🙂

      We spent some time in the Mountain West this winter in the snow. While we were shoveling the walk one morning my 5-year-old ran inside to grab the table salt to make our job easier. I shoveled while he sprinkled. It made me smile 🙂

  7. Jenny June 19, 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply

    I love your blog! I made a video of my son doing this experiment yesterday. (Actually my first video ever!) I posted it and linked to you. Thank you for sharing!

    • Crystal June 19, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      Oh, fantastic! Looks like you are off to a great start. Thanks for visiting and linking back! I love your blog 🙂

  8. Anonymous July 7, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Just to clarify, salt lowers the freezing point of water, but it actually doesn’t do the melting. The ice melts because of the water around it that is warmer than it is. The water will have a harder time freezing again thanks to the salt.

  9. karina August 30, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    that was good information from karina lopez

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