“I’m Not a Scientist!” – Rainbow Activity 3: Ice Cube Drawing

By Farhin Begum

Hello folks!

I hope everyone has had an amazing time with  second series on “I’m not a Scientist” blog – rainbow edition!

I have one more exciting activity for you and it’s easy to do with things you can find at home.

Let’s get stuck in!

DSCN0993What you need:

  • 6 Different paints
  • 1 Cup of water
  • 1/2 Cup of cornflour/ corn starch
  • Mixture plastic cups/ container
  • A jug
  • Ice cube tray
  • 2 Teaspoons
  • Paper
  • Cooking oil
  • Bin Bags

Step 1 – Mix it up again

Add 2 tsp of water and 1 tsp of paint to your cup and mix well. Then add 1 tsp of cornflour until combined. Put this mixture into the tray and repeat this with different paints until you have 5 more colours.


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Step 2 – What a mess!

As you can see this can be a very messy situation so please put down some newspaper to avoid cleaning up later!


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Step 3 – Time to Freeze

When you have added all your lovely paint mixtures to the ice cube tray, make some space in the freezer and carefully place the tray to chill a few hours or if you’re patient over night!


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Step 4 – Bin Bag Fashion?

Cut one side of the bin bag up until you reach the sealed end then cut through the seal to make a sheet out of the bin bag. Lay the bag across the surface. You can sprinkle some water under the bag to prevent it from moving about.

Place some paper on the surface then spread the oil all over the sheet and paper. I used vegetable oil but any would do.

I also made an apron using a big bag too! Just cut a hole at the top of the bag and holes for arms!


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Step 5 – Time to get messy!

Enjoy the colourful fun using your finger tips! Splish, Splash, Splosh! Move the ice cubes over the paper, squash them up, and see what happens when the water and the oil meet!


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Step 6 – What’s the science behind it?

Water and oil do not mix! Oil is “hydrophobic” which means that it does not like water! The ice cube is made out of water so when it melts the water will sit on top on the oiled paper until it evaporates. When the ice cube melts it releases the cornflour. Cornflour and water mixed together make a fluid that goes hard when a force is applied and is runny when left alone. Explore the texture and enjoy making pictures!


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Step 7 – Have fun!

You don’t have to use paper to have fun, you can also use the bin bag and it’s twice as enjoyable.


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Posted in Activity, Chemistry, Exploring Science, Primary