Freezing & Melting: Explore the Properties of Water

With winter seemingly kicking back into high gear, so have our daydreams of springtime and all the exciting (and warm) changes ahead. While we wait for the ice to thaw and the flowers to bloom, it seems the perfect time to think like scientists and explore how the properties of hot and cold affect the world around us ⎯ starting with water! The earth is roughly 75% water, you know.

Investigate the science of freezing and melting, the phases of matter, and how water is one of the most wonderful natural resources of all by using the engaging videos, fun activities, and crafts below.

Then, next week, learn about the freezing and melting process with Curious George and Hero Elementary on PBS Kids 24/7. And keep the learning going with our Learn Along Bingo.

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Explore the Properties of Water

Moving Water

Grades K-2
Explore how water found in oceans, rivers, and other water bodies changes form and flows downward in this video gallery produced by WGBH. Liquid water is found in water bodies across the planet. In locations where freezing temperatures occur, liquid water turns to solid ice. Students can use the video gallery to explore and identify characteristics of water and describe how water is found in different forms in different locations on Earth.

The Great Ruffet/Scruffet Cook-Off! | The Ruff Ruffman Show

Grades K-2
Explore kitchen chemistry, and the the basics of freezing and unfreezing liquids, as Ruff Ruffman and his brother Scruff compete in a cook-off in this video from The Ruff Ruffman Show. When Ruff and Scruff each start a catering business, the duo are hired by two kids to compete in a cooking competition for their friend’s birthday. The first course: a refreshing fruit flavored popsicle!

Heating and Cooling | Hero Elementary

Grades K-3
In these Hero Elementary activities, children explore how materials change when heated and cooled. For example, if you cool a liquid, it may become solid. What happens when you reverse the process and heat the solid—does it become liquid again? Children will discover that some changes are reversible and others are not.

States of Matter | Science Trek

Grades 4-6
This episode of IdahoPTV’s Science Trek defines matter as anything that takes up space and has weight. You will see examples of different kinds of matter and learn that matter can have a physical change but not change its chemical make-up – like water as a vapor, a solid block of ice, or the liquid we drink!

Lesson 102: Other Ways to Heat a Planet

Grades 6-12
In this experiment from Genius by Stephen Hawking, Stephen asks if it’s possible for life to exist beyond the “Goldilocks Zone”–the perfect distance from a star where water can exist in liquid form. He asks his volunteers to melt an ice cube with no heat source–hoping they can figure out another way planets may generate heat.

The 3 Phases of Matter | UNC-TV Science

Grades 6-12
Though ice, water and steam look and feel very different, they are all made of the same particles. Find out more about these 3 phases of matter with this animation.


Crafts, Interactives & Activities

Exploring Water With Ice Towers

Grades PreK-3
Sneak in some science with these fun ice towers. They’re great for a hot summer day (using your freezer) or a cold winter day when you can simply place them outside to freeze.

Making Ice Cream ⎪ 60-Second Science

Grades PreK-5
In this video
, watch as children experiment with a recipe that makes homemade ice-cream. Making ice-cream is a delicious, hands-on science exploration for young children you can do at home!

Exploring Hot and Cold Changes

Grades K-3
In Hero Elementary, when Stevie Heat melts the Fro Yo, it changes to liquid. Then AJ Gadgets uses his Chill Gadget to make the Fro Yo cold, and the Fro Yo turns solid again. You and your child can investigate what happens when you heat solid materials and then cool the materials.

Testing Insulators: Ice Cube in a Box

Grades 3-8
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, the cast competes to see which team can more effectively slow the melting of an ice cube. They construct containers for their ice cubes using materials like cardboard, newspaper, aluminum foil, and tape. These containers create an insulating environment designed to keep heat away from the ice cube. Conduct your own at-home experiment with this Keep-a-Cube activity handout!

Melting and Boiling Simulation

Grades 6-12
Observe the motion and temperature of water molecules in this simulation as heat is applied to a beaker containing an ice cube.

Phases of Matter: Interactive Lesson | UNC-TV Science

Grades 6-12
Solids, liquids and gases comprise the three phases of matter. Learn about each of these phases, and how the addition and removal of thermal energy (also known as heat) affects them, with this interactive lesson.


Learn Along Bingo

With Learn Along Bingo, children can view, explore, and play as they learn alongside their PBS Kids friends on the PBS Kids 24/7 channel. We hope your family will use it to inspire learning each and every day.

Next week, we’re learning and playing with water while exploring the freezing and melting process. Water is one of nature’s natural resources. We learn that water can exist as solid ice and in liquid form!

Grades PreK-K

Tune in: Watch Curious George at 5 PM on Tuesday, February 23rd.

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

Grades 1-2

Tune in: Watch Hero Elementary at 8 PM on Tuesday, February 23rd.

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!


For even more games and educational resources for young learners, go to the Learn and Play With Water Collection on PBS Kids for Parents.

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