Playing with ice and applying science, of course!
This activity requires time and easy prep. You'll need some sort of container, many miscellaneous trinkets, water, and various excavation tools.
Start by pouring a small layer of water in your container and place it in the freezer until frozen. Add another layer of water and a few trinkets. Put it back in the freezer. Repeat the process until the container is completely full or until your desired fullness.
Some trinket ideas are buttons, coins, paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, Legos, foam shapes/letters, beads, screws, pom-poms, keys, balloons, rocks, marbles, and whatever other little things you can find lying around. Long items like rubber bands and twist ties require more chipping and patience. While small items like beads and buttons are easier to extract and produce quicker satisfaction.
Once your ice block is completely frozen, remove it from the bowl, gather your tools, and head outside.
We sprinkled on salt to dissolve the ice and make it easier to chip away. The salt left the ice pitted with little holes.
Every time they'd hit the block, ice flew everywhere! Whether it was a big chunk or little specks, it was exciting to experience.
There was a surprise tool inside one of the blocks. Once Alyssa freed the screw from its frozen prison, we used it and a hammer to chisel away the ice.
We inspected the objects and the variances in the ice. Some parts were smooth, some had cracks, and other areas had tiny bubbles.
It was so exciting when we'd get a portion of an object partially excavated. The kids would grab it and try to yank it completely out of the ice. When that didn't work, they'd have to go back to chipping away at it.
They had so much fun with this ice excavation. Jake extracted all of his objects, convinced Zac to let him help with his, and tried to sneak a few items from Alyssa's block. He declared that this was "one of the best things ever!" He's asked at least 2,000 times - give or take a few dozen - if we can do this again.