Looking for a fun science experiment at home with the kids? Ice Balloons are super easy and fun experiments for kids. They’ll love exploring how water turns to ice and all the cool cracks & crevices the ice balloons create.
Learn how to make ice balloons easily at home then let the kids investigate the ice balloons’ shape. After that do a melting ice experiment with salt or warm water. When you’re done let the kids just play with these giant Ice jewels and have fun.
This cheap science experiment is a great way to enjoy a cold winter day at home. But don’t worry if you live somewhere warm you can just use your freezer and still have fun.
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Ice Balloons Science Experiments for Kids At Home
Are you ready to create these super cool Ice Balloons? They’re so much fun the kids won’t even realize they’re learning science while playing. Plus it’s a great winter activity for kids to keep them busy and off electronics.
What You Need
- Food Dye
- Bin to Hold the Balloons (or melt ice in)
How to Make Ice Balloons
There are only a couple of steps to make an ice balloon. Here is what you need to do.
Add Food Dye to Your balloon – I do this first before I add water because after the balloon is full of water it tends to spray if you don’t tie it right away. I would suggest 5 drops of food dye.
Also, consider leaving one or two Ice balloons without color so you can add it later for another experiment I’ll show you below.
Add Water to the balloon – I have found it easiest if I attach the balloon to the faucet or a hose as shown above. Make sure not to add too much water that the balloon pops.
Tie the balloon – Once the balloon is full pinch the top and gently pull it off the faucet. Then quickly tie a knot to the top of the balloon.
Related Article – Easy Snow Painting Winter Activity for Kids
Freeze the balloon – If you’re trying this in the winter and it’s below freezing place the balloons outside overnight to freeze. You could try placing the balloons in different spots to see if they will freeze differently.
For example, put some in the snow, some on a cleared driveway, and some close to the warmth of the house. The kids can see if they freeze differently due to the placement of the balloons.
If it’s warm outside place the balloons in your freezer overnight.
Peel Off the Balloon – The last step is removing the balloon from the ice ball. The balloon will easily peel away from the balloon. Often the ice has popped open the balloon a little so you have a place to start peeling.
If there is no break in the balloon use scissors to cut the top off and then peel the balloon back.
Ice Balloon Tip
Your fingers might turn colors with the food dye either when adding it or removing the balloons from the ice.
You can either wear gloves for these parts or just go with it. The kids will love seeing a rainbow of colors on their hands & it will wash off within a day.
You could also rinse the ice ball with water or roll it through the snow and the excess dye will come off. The dye only stays on as you initially remove the balloon from the ice.
Related Article – Rain Clouds in a Jar A Fun Science Experiment for Kids
Science Experiment with Your Ice Balloons
Now that you have your Ice Balloons let the kids explore the ice. Talk about the different shapes the ice created. Is there a flat spot where it laid on the ground? Is it heavy or light? Drop it in a bowl of water and see if it floats.
Then pull out a magnifying glass and take a closer look at the cracks and crevices in the ice balloons. Can you see the cracks better with the ice that is dyed or clear?
Lastly, with the extra clear balloons, you made add a few drops of food dye to the top. This will help highlight the crevices in the ice so you can see it better.
Salt & Ice Experiment
Now have the kids try and melt their ice balloons. You’ll need two different bowls or bins that will fit an Ice Balloon.
In one bin add salt to the top of your Ice balloon. In the other bin use a dropper to add warm water to the balloon. Have the kids watch and see which helps the ice melt faster salt or warm water.
Tip: Add small figures to your balloons so the kids have something to discover when they melt. We like to make Dinosaurs Frozen in Ice.
Winter Play with Frozen Balloons
Once you’re done with your experiments let the kids play with the Ice Balloons you didn’t melt. If you’ve built a snow fort have the kids add them as decorations or pretend their jewels in the castle they need to protect.
My kids had a blast with their creative play and their new ice jewels in the snow.
When the kids finish playing with the Ice Balloons use them to decorate your winter pots outside. I added the balloons to a pot with evergreen branches I cut from my backyard. It looks really cute on my front porch.
Decorate your trees this winter with DIY Ice Ornaments. Get the kids outdoor collecting items they find in nature like leaves, berries, or small pine cones.
Add all your nature bits into a pie tin and freeze it with water overnight. The next day you’ll have a really cool frozen suncatcher to hang in your tree, on your kid’s snow fort, or on their snowman.
More Science Experiments for Kids
Need a few more fun science experiments for kids? Visit our Kids activity page to find lots of ideas or try these cool ones below.
How to Make a Volcano at Home in 3 Easy Steps – The kids will be in Awe!
Rain Clouds in a Jar Science Experiment – Learn how rain makes it through the clouds. This looks super cool.
Find 30 more fun Outdoor Winter Activites for Kids to keep them busy all winter long.
Are you ready now to make your Ice Balloons? I hope your kids have as much fun making this cool science experiment as my kids did. Let me know in the comments how it worked.
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