After the rush of Christmas, we still have the entire winter to face. You can make the dull days of winter a bit more fun by participating in icy STEM challenges. This ice castle building challenge is the perfect STEM activity to try with preschoolers and toddlers. They will love building ice castles and you’ll love the easy set-up.
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Before you do this activity, freeze your ice the day in advance so you don’t have to spend hours waiting on this fun project!
Ice Castle Building Challenge: Winter Preschool STEM
What you’ll need to set up the ice castle building challenge:
- Silicone muffin cups
- A large tray
We froze our ice in silicone muffin cups. This allowed us to make fun shapes like stars and hearts. However, you can also use a regular ice tray for making your ice castle bricks. It doesn’t really matter what shape of mold you use. Make sure you freeze enough blocks to make large towers. 20 ice blocks will provide enough bricks to build a satisfying ice castle.
Show the kids how the salt will melt the ice just a bit so that the ice blocks will stick together. This is the secret of the ice castle building challenge!
Let your kids make their own castle designs. They may prefer to make large single tower castles or create elaborate designs with walls, a moat, and several towers. Part of what makes this a STEM challenge is allowing kids to come up with their own designs.
First my preschooler build a single tower stack, but she soon became interested in creating more elaborate ice castles.
What Kids Learn with the Ice Castle Building Challenge
During this STEM challenge, you can discuss how ice forms and the different forms that water can take (solid, liquid, or gas). You can also discuss how salt helps ice melt faster, which helps the ice blocks stick together. Kids will also learn that they have to be careful stacking their ice castle towers or the whole thing will come tumbling down!
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