What factors make ice melt under pressure

We’ve got another fun ice experiment for you today, using little fishing rods with frozen fish on the end. The aim of the activity is to discover whether ice melts faster in hot or cold water.

What you need to go ice fishing

2-3 Tubs

Water – hot and cold

Plastic fish – we used these Learning Resources Fun Fish Counters



Ice cube trays


How to go ice fishing

Place water into ice cube trays with fish ( or other small object ) inside. Add a piece of string to each compartment. Make sure the string doesn’t end up in more than one section, as some of ours stuck together.

Once frozen, remove carefully and tie each one to a stick.

Add hot water to one tub and cold water to another. Ask the children to feel the water ( make sure it’s not too hot ) and predict which will melt the ice the fastest.

Place your fishing rod into each tub and start the timer.

Observe the changes to the ice every 30 seconds, how soon can you see the difference between the ice in the hot and ice in the cold water?

Watch for the fish falling out of the ice, record the time.

Were your predictions correct?

Digital Timer  from Learning Resources.

Questions to ask

How does the ice change over time?

How can you tell which is melting the fastest?

What could you do to speed up the melting?

Extension Activities

Can you try using hot, warm and cold water recording all the times taken for the ice to melt?

Are the results different if you carry out the activity outside?

Can you design a table to record your results?

Can you measure the temperature of the water? Does it drop as the ice melts? How big is the difference in temperature?

Things to think about

How could we make this experiment more accurate?

  • We should make sure exactly the same amount of water is in each ice cube and that the fish are the same size.
  • Do you know what the variables and constant factors are?

Story book ideas

As soon as we finished this activity my girls started reciting Tiddler, which then led to some fun storytelling and counting with the fish counters.

More Ice Experiment Ideas for Kids

Painting on Ice

More ice activities

Includes affiliate links.

Filed Under: Early Years Science, Science Experiments for Kids, Understanding of the WorldTagged With: Ice Experiments