Snow is a perfect theme for one of January and February’s Virtual Book Club with Kids themes and a classic Winter storybook for kids The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats one of the unfortunate things in the UK is that we don’t get snow very often, however, we do have frosts and ice. One of the questions that always pops up with my children and with the classes that I have taught is why in winter do we use Ice on the roads. So this simple winter science investigation is ideal for kids to explore and draw their own conclusions based on their knowledge and level of understanding.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

As with all of our Virtual Book Club for Kids, posts don’t forget to check out our other suggestions for Featured Books for your weekly book basket on the theme of Winter as well as our co-hosts lesson plan with ideas for Winter themed fun and activities.

More Inspiration for reading together with kids with our Recommended Winter books for Toddlers and Preschoolers.

Materials Needed for this Winter Science Investigation

We have included affiliate links to products and resources we used and recommend for this activity.

Some Ice

Salt

Camera or smartphone – these are the cameras that we have purchased for our kids to use they are fairly sturdy but provide a much better image and video than the kids cameras that you can buy.

Why not download our Winter Science Prompts and Investigation sheet here

The science behind it

So that you can help your child draw some conclusions it’s worth understanding what is happening when salt is used on roads prior to snow or frost forming.

The science is really simple – salt lowers the freezing point of water from 0 degrees to below freezing (this is also why there is still water in the Arctic and the Antarctic even in the middle of winter as the sea is salty) so by gritting the roads and path ways with salt frost and snow that land on it or try and form will only do so at a much lower temperature than they would otherwise.

In this Winter Science Investigation we look at 2 different ideas – freezing icy water and what happens when salt is applied to already frozen water.

Winter Science Investigation 1 – Lowering the Freezing Point of water

Using our water table we set up this over two different nights when we knew that the temperature would drop. If you live in a warm climate you could do this in your freezer as well but with careful timing to make sure that both the none salty and salty water have the same amount of freezing time and the same temperature.

Start off by leaving your water table with fresh water in over night outside.

In the morning explore the ice to see how it’s frozen – look at the thickness of it, how much of the water table it has covered.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

You and your child could photograph the ice and them touching it and exploring it.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

Now fill up your water table again and this time add in a cup or two of salt and help it dissolve by stirring.

Leave overnight again.

The following morning again look at the ice – has it frozen, is it as thick – use pictures that you took from the previous experiment to compare.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

Talk to you child about why they think that there is a difference, what does the salt do? If there wasn’t a difference what other factors could have changed?

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

Winter Science Investigation 2 – Salting on ice

This was a favorite of both J and T they both loved see what happens and helped them understand why even when ice and snow has fallen during the day the roads are still gritted and salt applied to paths.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

With some ice – you can freeze this in the freezer if it’s not cold enough where you are take a lid and add some water onto it and then place in the freezer so you have a sheet of ice.

Now sprinkle ice onto the surface and watch.

Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

T videoed what was happened and then we spent time thinking about and explaining what was happening and causing the noises.

Check out these other fun Hands-on Winter Themed Learning Activities

Featured Winter Stories for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We have included affiliate links to products and resources we recommend

Each week on our Virtual Book Club for Kids posts we make 5 suggestions of themed books that you could add to your reading basket this week. These include our featured book chosen due to the ease of reading, popularity or timeless quality of the story. This week’s featured books all about winter are:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats – our featured book and a classic beautiful story of winter fun for kids.

Winter by Gerda Muller – my kids both love this picture book and with no words, we can create our own stories based on the beautiful illustrations within the book

One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth

The First Day of Winter by Denise Flemming

When it starts to snow by Phillis Gershator

Winter Themed Lesson Plan from Virtual Book Club for Kids

Each week we join together with other bloggers to share our book themed Virtual Book Club for Kids lesson plan you can dip in and out of these activities throughout the week as you wish. Don’t forget to come and join us in the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Group where you can join 6000+ others sharing activities and ideas for bringing books alive with children each week.

Winter themed Literacy Activities

Snowflake Swat Letter Game from Preschool Powol Packets

Snowball Sight Words on the Sticky Table from Views from a Step Stool

Snow Day Inspired Alphabet Writing Tray from School Time Snippets

The Snow Day Book Related Pre-Writing Sensory Tray from Growing Book by Book

Winter Themed Arts and Crafts

Puffy Paint Melted Snow Man from Messy Little Monster

Easy Colourful Paper Towel Snowflakes from Toddler Approved

Coffee Filter Snowflakes from Mama Smiles

Winter Science and STEM

Winter Science Investigation – why grit the roads – YOU ARE HERE

Let’s Build Snowflakes from JDaniel4’s Mom

Melting Snowball Estimations from My Storytime Corner

Winter Themed Play Ideas

Snow Tea Party from Teach Beside Me

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Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

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Simple winter science investigation for children of all ages on why we use salt on the roads during the winter months.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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