Hatching frozen dinosaur ice eggs sensory play is designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners to explore science and STEM through hands-on small-world play.
This is the best STEM defrosting kids activity for preschoolers and kindergartners! Hatching frozen dinosaur ice eggs activity is a fun sensory play that will lead to awe and scientific discovery! This imaginative, small-world play is great for any dinosaur-loving child! Also, this dinosaur eggs ice excavation science experiment is very simple to set up, and it will provide hours of sensory play and STEM learning!
Besides, most of what is required for this sensorial exploration, you probably have at home. Most importantly, with just salt and water, your preschooler can explore science, water play, and STEM education through this fun icy activity! Furthermore, using balloons to shape dinosaur eggs is an easy way to set your excavating dinosaurs’ sensory bin.
You’ll need to make this frozen dinosaur eggs activity:
- small dinosaurs (I used some from this TOOB and also some from this puzzle set)
- balloons (be aware of latex allergies, if any)
- water-resistant tray (we are using this metal tray and this galvanized)
- warm water
- droppers (similar HERE)
- squeeze bottle
- child-sized hammer (also here)
- science glasses
- salt (optional salt with ice might cause burn/irritation ~ read below)
Frozen Dinosaur Eggs Sensory Play
HOW TO make these easy frozen dinosaur eggs:
First, place a dinosaur inside each balloon. You might want to inflate the balloon to help a dino through.
Then, carefully fill the balloons with water just enough to have your dino float in them (make sure not to overfill), and tie them off. After that, pop them in a freezer lying flat and ensure that nothing squishes them, so they retain their ovoid/oval shape.
Take this opportunity to discuss physics and the state of the matter: how the water changes from liquid to a solid state under lower temperatures.
Wait until balloons are entirely frozen, and then remove them from the freezer.
Next, cut and peel off the balloon revealing the frozen “egg.”
Using balloons in the shape of dinosaur eggs is an easy way to set your excavating dinosaurs’ sensory bin. This activity will also offer plenty of problem-solving opportunities: “Oh! The dinosaurs are trapped inside the ice eggs! What can we do to help them hatch?” Your little explorer would soon discover that warm water is best at melting the ice!
⚠️ Salt-Ice Warning
A note of caution: Salt and ice combination can potentially irritate/burn the skin. Holding something frozen against your skin for two to three minutes will result in a burn. The burn is caused by frostbite, and it happens because salt lowers the temperature at which ice melts. So use tools like 🥄spoons, droppers, squirt/squeeze bottles, etc., or offer a child to wear gloves while conducting this experiment. [We have been doing salt-water melting activity for about five years, and we have never had any issues. However, you are the best judge of how sensitive your child’s skin is.]
Cloud Dough Frozen Dino Eggs Sensory Bin
During this eggs excavation activity, your child can use warm water, droppers, and salt to help the dinosaurs “hatch.” However, using a hummer is much more fun! So, if you are up to hammering some ice eggs, ensure that your child wears glasses for protection and that no “fossils” or dinosaurs are damaged in the process!
🔨 Offer a hammering extension only to children who are proficient with this skill. So, I suggest as a prerequisite a clay hammering Montessori PLA, which is for preschool ages 3-6. Also, make sure to model to a child how to hammer carefully so as not to hit the hand. And wear protected glasses as ice fractions might shatter and shoot out in the air.
Science Mystery Revealed:
Salt is a great ice melter because it causes “freezing point depression.” That means that salt helps lower the freezing point and, consequently, the melting point of water, which is the main component of snow and ice. Generally, water freezes at 0°C or 32°F, but by using salt, the freezing point can be lowered.
Thus, reducing the freezing point of water forces the ice to melt and prevents the water from freezing or re-freezing. Please note, however, that salt alone can not melt the ice! Instead, salt must be combined with water first to start the melting process. So, when salt touches water, salt starts to dissolve, thus lowering the freezing point and melting the surrounding ice. Voila!
Ways to adopt this dinosaur eggs ice excavation :
I hope your preschooler or kindergartener will have fun with this hands-on sensory small world play by hatching and rescuing frozen dinosaur eggs while exercising gross and fine-motor control by chiseling and melting the eggs down. We often enjoy freezing and thawing small animals, pom poms, letters, numbers, Lego pieces, flowers, and even baby chicks, and trying to work out how to release them from the ice blocks is a fun science activity for small children to explore!
You can also take this activity outdoors and hide the eggs in the undergrowth, offering little paleontologists to find and rescue trapped friends. Thereafter, use your dinosaurs for small word imaginative play or play with them while reading some favorite dinosaur storybooks. (We love My First Discoveries and Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs among the few – check out all our favorite Dinosaur materials and book on my Amazon Page.)
Want more eggs Dinosaur Ideas?
Here, I am reusing the cloud dough from Rainbow Gem activity. When I combined all the colors, the resulting mixed color resembles a nice earthy tone. So here, I have set up a play dough invitation to explore oviparous animals and their eggs. Simply hide birds and dinosaurs in a play-dough molded “egg” and offer your little one to discover what is inside!
Did you know that “oviparous animals” lay their eggs with little or no other embryonic development within the mother? This is the reproductive method of all birds (and dinosaurs who are their ancestors), amphibians, and most fish.
Adult supervision is required.