Have your kids ever wondered why frost begins to appear in the morning as winter approaches? This easy frost experiment where children will learn how to make frost is a great visual. This winter science experiment is a fun project for elementary age students in kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th graders!
Do your kids love Frozen or maybe they loved Frozone in the Incredibles? The ability to create frost and ice at a single touch sounds like an amazing super power. Now, we couldn’t make frost in a single touch, but let me show you a simple way to create frost that is a great teaching opportunity. This frost experiment is great for kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – add this to your winter science experiments to try!
How to make Frost
To make your own frost you will need a couple simple materials you probably already have on hand:
- Tin cans – cleaned and remove sharp edges
- Ice – crushed or cubed will work
The Science Behind Frost and Salt/Ice Reactions
Salt lowers the freezing point of the ice. This causes it to pull heat from the air and tin can, significantly dropping the temperature on the surface of the tin can. Moisture from the air will freeze as it comes in contact with the cold surface of the can, leading to the creation of frost.
In this experiment we wanted to explore the importance of salt in the frost creation process. To do this we set up a control, plus our experiment.
Our control consisted of a tin can filled with ice but no salt. We filled the other tin can with ice and salt sprinkled over all the ice. Then we sat back and watched.
Very quickly the tin can with the salt and ice mixture started getting colder. Over time the cold became intense and there was a bit of condensation on the tin but it wasn’t turning to frost and was so thin it was almost not there. The tin can was also hard to touch it was so cold, but even 15 minutes later we still had no frost.
We were stumped. The tin can with salt ice was so cold it stuck to my fingers when I went to empty the ice from it. The tin can with no salt was just cool. There was a significant difference in the temperatures, just no frost.
How does frost form
Here is a close up. Just a very thin layer of condensation, but no frost build up or crystallization like we see in the frost outside.
Our how is frost formed experiment was a failure.
But scientists don’t fail, they examine, evaluate, investigate, then experiment again.
Making Adjustments and Learning from Failure
Making frost experiment
After our first make your own frost experiment failed to produce frost we discussed what was needed for frost to form. We had the tin cans that would conduct the cold. Having it stick to my fingers was proof of that. But something was missing.
It’s winter here, and winter in our neck of the woods is cold and very, very dry. After explaining this to the kids, I asked if they could think what was missing for our frost to form.
Very quickly they came up with the answer: humidity! Our air is lacking the humidity or moisture in the air that we needed to create frost.
We explored a few different ideas for how to adjust this variable in our experiment. We placed steamy cups of water near the tin cans. We tried adding water to our tin cans. We tried blowing on them. Changing all of those variables failed to produce frost. Then we decided to move the whole experiment to the washroom while someone was having a shower, and it worked!
We finally created frost! We had beautiful little crystals and wonderful frost build up on the can.
It took a little experimentation and exploring the science, but going through this process of scientific experimentation made for a learning experience that will stay with my kids for a long time. They not only learned about how frost forms, but learned about our dry climate and why it is so dry in winter.
Snowman Activities for Kids
- S is for Snowman Theme
- Easy Circle Sticker Snowman Craft
- Plastic Cup Snowman Craft
- EASY Glue Snowman Crafts for Preschoolers
- YUM! How to Make Snow Ice Cream with just 2 ingredients!
- 100 Winter Crafts and Activities for Kids
- Making historic SNOW CANDY!
- Squirt Gun Snow Painting
- Snow Dough for Kids
- Amazingly EASY Puffy Snow Paint Recipe
- LOTS of Snowflake Crafts A to Z
- Super Cool Snow Volcano Science Experiment
- Melting Snowman Slime Recipe
- Cute Snow globe Craft for Kids
Looking for snowman worksheets and educational snowman activity ideas? You will love these resources!
- Build-a-Snowman Winter CVC Words Activity
- Snowman Addition Clip Cards
- Snowman Counting Cards
- Free Snowman Worksheet Pack with LOTS of pages
- Winter Counting Worksheets
- Free Winter Writing Prompts PDF
- Multiplication Snowman Activity
- Snowman Printables Winter letter Find
- Snowman Tracing Letters A to Z
- Snowflake Winter Compound Words
- Build a Snowman Sequencing Worksheets
- Snowman Printables Counting Book
- Winter Worksheets for Preschoolers
- Snowman Word Family Spinners
- Snowman Math Craft for practicing addition and subtraction
- Winter Telling Time Worksheets
- Snowflake Dab the Letter
- Snowman Activities for Preschool – Count to 10
- Cute Snowman Shape Puzzles
- Free Snowman Coloring Pages
Science for Kids
Looking for lots more fun, science experiments for kids? You’ve GOT to try some of these outrageously fun science experiments for kids! We have so many fun, creative and easy science experiments for elementary age children:
- 100 Amazing Food science experiments for kids – arranged by type of science
- Colorful Capillary action science experiment (also known as walking water)
- Amaze kids with these 12 Hands on Science experiments with batteries
- 24 Epic Solar system science projects to try this week
- Colorful Candy Science Experiments
- Fun Water balloon science experiment that explores density
- 50 Fun Preschool science experiments the whole family will want to try
- Simple Galaxy science project
- Easy and Fun Dancing Raisins Experiment
- Learn about weather as you find how to make a weather vane
- Eye opening Eye science experiments
- Easy-to- make Air pressure science project
- Amazing POP rocks science experiment is one of our all-time favorite science experiments we like to do during the summer are
- Stunning Chromatography Flowers are so pretty you’ll forget it was as science project!
- How to Make a Lava Lamp – super easy and SO cool!
- 30 Simple machines science projects kids will want to try
- Easy, fascinating, and colorful project answering Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment
- Free Printable Animal Classifications for Kids Cootie Catchers
- 19 Edible science experiments – which delicious project will you try first?
- HUGE Free Solar System Unit (coloring pages, hands on science projects, worksheets, and more!)
- Pipe Cleaner Constellation Activity (As seen on Good Housekeeping!)
- Teach kids about conductivity with this fun squishy circuits projects
- Amazing, Heat Sensitive, Color Changing Slime
- Life Cycles for Kids (from penguin to sunflower and spider to turkey we have LOTS of life cycles to explore and learn about)
- EASY, Colorful Oil and Water Science Experiment
- Kids will be amazed as you change colors of white flowers with this Dying Flowers Science Experiment
- This super cool Lego Zipline is fun and simple to make
- Human Body Project
- Check out this super cool look INSIDE a Volcano Project
- Exploding Watermelon – science experiment that explores potential and kinetic energy with a big WOW moment!
- Memorable Life Size Skeletal system science project – includes free printable template
- Find LOTS more Easy Science Experiments for kids of all ages!