Lego Science: An Ice Excavation Experiment

Lego Science Experiment

I am excited to be back for another Saturday Science. Each week we keep ourselves busy exploring and trying new science experiments. This week was no exception. Those of you that follow along regularly know Legoman (my 8 year old) lives and breathes Legos. So it is no surprise that during our unit on rocks, we tried a little Lego Science Ice Excavation Experiment.

Setting up a Lego Excavation
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Lego Science Ice Excavation Experiment

For Christmas, my mom gave us these amazing ice cube makers that are meant for fancy drinks. However, we have had so much fun doing experiments with them. The set-up was simple for our Lego Science experiment. All we needed to do was fill the ice cube maker halfway with water, place the Legoman on top and freeze. After a few hours, I filled the ice cube maker to the top with water and froze over night. This made transformed our Legoman into a fossil, stuck, just waiting for an archeologist to find him.

{Note: If you do not have the special ice cube maker, you could freeze in any small freezer container. Just be sure to leave room for it to expand)

While the boys were busy doing their independent work, I set up the experiment. ( I actually had the boys do it separately, so I could see the difference in how each one went about solving the problem.)

I presented the problem…

You are an Archeologist. You are looking for fragile fossils.

You come across something interesting in a glacier and you want to explore more.

How are you going to excavate the fossil? What tools are you going to use?

Remember: Fossils are very old and very fragile.

Experimenting with Legos In Ice

Legoman was first to explore. He was so surprised to find his fossil was one of his beloved Legomen. He sprinkled some salt on the spot above the Lego.

He added water. Watched as it caused the ice to crystallize from the inside out.

Poked at it with toothpicks and chiseled with chopsticks.

He was diligent and he tried many methods.

Legoman Excavation Experiment

He turned the ice this way, that way, every which way. Each time getting a tad more of Lego to shine through the ice. The Ice excavation experiment was a success. He was talking about variables he would change for next time. He was asking “What if… ” questions. He was fully invested.

He finally succeeded. {Don’t be alarmed by the picture… I thought for some reason red could represent the hot water he asked for}

Lego Science Mistake

Oops… I won’t do that again!

Next, it was time for Bones (my 6 year old) to give it a try. It was so interesting to see how differently the two boys approached the same problem.

Lego Science An Ice Excavati

Bones immediately added a layer of salt to the top of the ice just like his brother.

However, he took a very different approach. He stuck with that one method. He did salt on top, and then added a pile under the ice.

He let it soak in a bit until he noticed cracks forming down the side of the ice.

He added water (only to the top) and let the water (now salty) drip down the ice.

With each squeeze and squirt, his fossil became more and more evident.

It was not until the very end that we both noticed something EPIC!

Lego Sciece Excavations in Ice

His Lego had 2 sides to his head. We did not plan this. We did not stage this. If you look back at the first picture you will notice the horror on the face of the Lego.

Now compare it to the relief of being freed. You can see it in his face.

I can not tell you how excited this made Bones. As a kid who lives in a mystical world full of make-believe… he thought the Legoman truly was showing his feelings. He felt like he had accomplished something so grand and so fantastic.

He had Excavated his Fossil and freed his Lego!

Both boys wanted more. They immediately thought of variations to change their outcomes. So in the freezer the Lego Man went and now he is ready for more Science fun.

Time for Saturday Science Blog Hop!

Visit these great bloggers for more fun Saturday Science experiments too!

Sink the Ship & a Review of littleBLAST Science Kits from Stir the Wonder

Winter Freezing Liquids Science Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands

What is your favorite science activity? I would love to hear! Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

More Lego Adventures

Lego Busy Bags with Puzzles Lego-Slime-Recipe copy Lego-Calm-Down-Jar

Now, for the exciting announcement. Well, I am so excited to announce that my new book, The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® – 100+ Inspiring Ideas, is almost ready! In fact, it went off to the printer just yesterday! This is a book I have co-authored with several of my other friends who love and adore Lego Learning Ideas. The book is full of inspiring Lego learning ideas that are perfect for any age child! We have even started a new Facebook group devoted to learning with Lego and we would love to have you join us!


The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® - 100+ Inspiring IdeasIf you want to be the first to know when the book is available and you want some of the fun bonus offers just for you, be sure to fill out this survey form and be on the lookout for a Bonus printable very soon!



Discover how to get siblings to get along even when all they do is annoy each other with the Sibling “Get Along” Poster Pack!

72 thoughts on “Lego Science: An Ice Excavation Experiment”

  1. Pingback: Winter Freezing Liquids Science Experiment {Saturday Science} | Little Bins for Little Hands

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    1. Thank you so much! We had so much fun. We honestly had no clue about the faces until after was started the activity which made it that much more fun.

  3. Thanks for another great idea to do with my grandkids. When they come over, we have projects called “Camp Grandma” crafts. On my website: you’ll see my grandkids doing Erupting Volcanos, pretzel log cabins, etc.

    Love your blog and keeping the littles interested in creativity.

    1. Thank you for the kind words! That sounds like a blast! I hope they like this activity. Be sure to subscribe, I post kid activities like this at least once a week. 🙂

  4. Rachel

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I did it today with my 5 year old and he absolutely loved it. We used a skeleton lego minifigure so he was really digging for bones in a glacier. 🙂

    1. That is so fantastic! I would love to see a picture! Can you share one on my FB wall? I love hearing it went well and that he loved it so much 🙂

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  6. Susan Alexander

    How long did they take to melt? I was thinking of doing this for a birthday party.

    1. It took about 30 minutes. I would suggest using a smaller ice cube if you are doing it for a party. It would be fun to set up at a table and have kits set up for each kid. I would love to know how it goes and see a picture if you try it 🙂

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  8. What a fun activity, we love LEGO 🙂 Thanks for linking to little builders. x

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  22. Becca

    Ahhh! that one picture was so scary !! haha good experiment going to try it with my 6-8 year old summer camp!

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      Too Cute! Awesome. Let me know how it goes.

  23. Cailea

    What a neat idea. I live in a region where winters are pretty harsh, so outside time cuts down significantly in the winter. New activities can be hard to come by after a while. Both of my children are lego nuts and have sensory processing disorder. I can see my oldest having a blast with this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      Mine have already asked to do it again this year!

  24. My nephew is 5 right now, and I am not sure he will understand the salt-part. But he loves playing with legos so he will probably find this fun no matter what.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      I think he would love the salt part 🙂

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  30. I really like this idea with the ice and how to dig out the fossil safely! My daughter would really enjoy this one.

    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      So glad you like it!

  31. Such a great science activity! I am featuring this in an ice science round up tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!

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