Indoor Ice Fishing

I found this fun experiment when searching for indoor winter activities and was thrilled with the creative use of a few household items. Preschoolers and school-age children can use this activity to study science, and it’s really fun. As a bonus, you probably already have everything needed, setup is quick and any mess created can be easily wiped away.

The prep for indoor ice fishing is relatively simple. Each fisher will need a bowl half-full of water, ice cubes, string and salt.

Image of ice fishing materials

Combine the water and ice. Some kiddos may enjoy having food coloring added to the water.

Set your piece of string onto the ice.

Now sprinkle a little bit of salt over your string and let it sit for at least 30 seconds. Gently pull your string out of the water, and see how many pieces of ice you’ve caught!

Image of ice fishing materials

Tip: Have a tray or empty bowl ready for the ice to go in after it has been pulled.  Otherwise you will have salty puddles on your table.

Image of ice fishing materials

Here is the science part: salt lowers the melting point of the water. When you sprinkle just a little salt onto the top, the ice will melt and moisten the string, but the rest of the ice will cause it to refreeze around the string. This allows you to reel in your line and reveal your frozen catch. How many ice cubes can you get with one string?

If you want to change it up and make this more of an experiment, try different types of salt, different sizes of ice cubes and a variety of string textures such as yarn or twine. You can also experiment with how long the salt sits.