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What Do the Salt Trucks Do?


3 ice cubes
2 containers
Iodized salt


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