Easy science experiment for kids: Fish Ice Cubes

Here follow my instructions for the Fish Ice Cubes experiment. Start by thinking about how you can lift an ice cube, just by using a piece of cotton thread. The thing that takes time on this one is the waiting time after you have poured salt on the ice cube. Otherwise, it is a really quick and easy experiment.

Remember to start the experiment with a hypothesis, what do you think will happen?

Instructions for parents: Read this first.

Material included:

  • Ice cubes
  • Cotton thread
  • Salt

Additional things you will need:

  • A bowl
  • Water


  1. Make ice cubes. Wait until the water has frozen before you use them in this experiment.
  2. Pour water into a bowl, and fill the bowl half full. Then put one or more ice cubes into the water.
  3. Try to pick up the ice cubes out of the water, feel how slippery it is. Put the ice cubes back into the water.
  4. Put a piece of cotton thread over the ice cubes and sprinkle over a pinch of salt on them.
  5. Wait about 1 minute, then try to lift the ice cubes with the help of the cotton thread. What happens?


When salt is sprinkled on the ice cubes, some salt dissolves in the water layer on top of it. This solution process, a spontaneous endothermic process, steals heat from the environment, i.e. it takes heat to dissolve the salt in the water. The heat is mainly taken from the water layer on top of the ice cubes which then freezes to ice. In this way, the cotton thread freezes and you can lift the ice cubes with the cotton thread.

To see others do the experiment look at this video:

Fish Ice Cubes

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Do you have any questions or comments about the experiment? Just leave a comment below!



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