Bloomsbury Early Years - Do you want to melt a snowman?
Bloomsbury Early Years


3-5 years

Characteristics of Effective Learning:

Finding out & exploring

Type of Content:


Related Activities

Do you want to melt a snowman?

Investigate melting and cooling techniques

by Dawn Roper


Children love to experiment and investigate changes in everyday objects. In this activity the children experiment with melting and cooling everyday ingredients. Children can think of their own experiments and make predictions what they think might happen using a microwave, refrigerator and freezer.


Using tools and different appliances to heat and cool ingredients.

Links with the EYFS

  • Follow instructions

  • Answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions

What you need

  • Microwave

  • Freezer

  • Refrigerator

  • Different foods, e.g. marshmallows, ready-made ice, chocolate

Helpful hints

  • Make sure the appliances are PAT tested.

  • Ensure adequate adult–child ratio for using the equipment to heat/cool ingredients.

  • Put each ingredient on a plate. The ice cubes could go into a cup, so that the children can see the solid turn into a liquid that can be poured out.

What you do

  1. Show the children the ingredients, e.g. chocolate, marshmallows, ice.

  2. Experiment using the fridge and freezer for the different ingredients. Make predictions with the children for what could happen to the ingredients in each appliance.

  3. Get the children to feel the ice inside the freezer. Explain that all of these appliances use power to make them work.

  4. Time how long it takes for the ingredients to fully melt using a microwave. Be careful to check the ingredient does not burn. Keep checking on the ingredients.

  5. Stack three sets of three ice cubes so they look like snowmen. Explain that you are going to put ice snowman in the fridge, one in the freezer and one in the microwave.

What you say

  • Where is the coolest place in the setting?

  • What do we use a fridge for at home?

  • What might happen if we put the ready-made ice cubes in the fridge?

  • Which appliance do they think ice will melt in the quickest?

  • Talk to the children about keeping safe around the appliances. The microwave makes things hot, so what is in the microwave will be hot.

Ready for more?

Ask the children if they can think of any other ingredients that might make changes when heated or cooled.

Look at changes in state. If we put the melted water from the ice cubes back into the freezer what will happen?

Look, listen and note

  • Follow instructions

  • Answer 'how' and 'why' questions

  • The world (ELG14) Places, objects and materials Environments Animals and plants

Where to go next: Jack Frost's Melting Mayhem
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