Did you know that a sea star is technically not a fish? This is where the confusion comes from when referring to a sea star and not calling it a starfish. I will admit that I need to be better about calling a sea star the correct name most of the time! No matter what you call it though, our Frozen Sea Star Simple Science activity is sure to be a hit with all of the preschoolers and kindergarteners in your life. It is always fun and engaging to observe reactions in science while sneaking in some fine motor skills!
Sea Star Simple Science
To set up this simple science activity, you probably just need to head into your kitchen! Or if you are like me, head to your supply closet in your classroom. Part of my closet looks a lot like my pantry at home!
- baking soda
- liquid watercolors or food dye
- star shaped ice cube trays
To make the frozen sea stars you will mix baking soda and water together. The ratio that worked best for us was to use 3/4 baking soda and 1/4 water. You may not need all the water, so add the water in a little at a time while mixing.
Before adding the water to the baking soda, add in a few drops of yellow liquid watercolors or food dye to the water. This will make it easy to make your sea stars a yellow color instead of just leaving them plain white.
Mix the baking soda and water together until it sticks together enough to mold it with your hands. You do not want it to be goopy.
Press the mixture into the star shaped ice cube trays.
Put the trays into the freezer for a few hours. The frozen sea stars did not take as long as water to freeze.
Fizzle Sizzle Science
Now it’s time to play! Pop the sea stars out of the ice cube trays. Put them on a tray or in a shallow plastic container.
Add vinegar to a cup or jar. We added blue liquid watercolor to the vinegar to act like ocean water. Use the dropper to squeeze and drip the vinegar on the frozen sea stars!
Listen for and watch the fizzle sizzle reaction!
This is the part that is so inviting and makes little kids want to play more.
Now…what if your little learners are struggling with using the dropper?
Here’s what we say in my classroom over and over again when we do activities that involve droppers.
“Squeeze and let go. Squeeze and let go.” (in the vinegar)
“Squeeze and let go. Squeeze and let go.” (onto the sea star)
Every one of my preschoolers has eventually caught on to this fine motor exercise. You may just have to say it a bazillion times before all the steps finally click!
Planning an ocean theme?
Do you need other super simple learning ideas?
Look no further! You’ll love this resource.
Check out 15 of our favorite printable learning activities to go under the sea with.
Here’s a preview of just a few: