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What Do the Salt Trucks Do?

What do the salt trucks do-01


  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 containers
  • Iodized salt


What to do

Note: This is a good activity for a snowy morning when children are likely to have noticed salt trucks on their street spreading salt.

1. Pass one ice cube around the group and ask children to tell something they know about it. Discuss its temperature, color, slipperiness, melting properties, etc. Mention some of the problems people have when there is ice on the ground (e.g., it's too slippery to walk or drive safely). Ask if the children have noticed salt trucks on the road. Explain that they spread salt to help melt the ice and make the roads safer for cars.

2. Place the two remaining ice cubes in separate containers. Pour a generous amount of salt on one, but none on the other. Ask children to predict what might happen.

3. Ask children to check the two containers periodically. After an hour or so (the rate of melting depends on many things, including the amount of salt used), reconvene the group. Ask them what has happened to the ice and if the salt made a difference.


More to do

Language: Talk about games or activities that depend on ice, such as ice skating or ice hockey.

Science: Will salt melt other materials in the room? Set up similar experiments with materials children would like to use. Observe what happens.


-Kim Arnold, Big Flats, NY

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6
Center: Science/Discovery/Nature
Topic: Weather
Content: Science
Area: Cognitive
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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