Colorful ice creams – change of state

Colorful ice creams – change of state

Short description
Full description
Short description

Colorful ice creams

Language: English


To explain the change in the state of matter making ice cream.

Scientific concept introduced

Liquid, solid, change of state, change of matter, freeze, temperature.

Creative and critical thinking

To discover how ice cream is made. Divergent thinking- to think about what coulours could the ice creams be.

Mathematical reasoning

Measuring the ingredients to make the ice cream.

Scientific thinking

To observe and to ask questions about the process of making the ice cream and how it is done.

Learning how to learn

Work in teams. Motivation to learn.


Listening with comprehension. Sharing ideas. Sharing responsibility for a task. Communicate wiht others.

Full description

Colorful ice creams

Overall aims

  1. To identify the matter in liquid and liquid state. 
  2. To explain the process of change from liquid to solid state. 
  3. To make an ice cream

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

State, solid, liquid, steps

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

  • To see the change of state through temperature.
  • To promote healthy habits

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to





Teaching methodologies/activity outline

The activity proposed is to create ice creams or fruit ice. With this  activity it is possible to work on changes of matter, but also on different fruits and helps promote healthy habits. 

In order to do the activity, we will have to work on the previous knowledge. A first session will be used to introduce the phenomenon of change of matter. The children will not be familiarized with this process of transformation, but they will be with the products (the ice cream melts, the soup is liquid but the pasta in it is solid, the steam of the pot or the bathtub…). 


How to work on changes of matter with children 

What happens when we put an ice tray filled with water in the freezer? And when we eat an ice cream under the sun? 

First we will show the children the different states in which we can find water (is the only element that can be found in the three states), and also juice because of its similarity with the water. 

Juices have a great amount of water in them. At room temperature they are liquid, we can also find soups. But if we put them in the freezer they become solid, hard. This happens because they are under 0ºC. At this temperature we can find ice creams and ice. If we put the juice in the oven or in a pot, the juice will become gas, because its temperature will rise over 100º and it will evaporate. We can also observe this process when we are boiling water to make pasta or when we are having a shower with hot water. 

The idea is to show this with the accompaniment of the teacher. If it is not possible to show the evaporation process in class because of lack of materials or because of security reasons, pictures can be shown instead. 


To finish the session children will make a list of the fruits they would like to eat in ice cream format. It is a good opportunity to tell them that if they choose different colors the ice cream will be more colorful. The teachers will decide what fruits to buy having into account intolerances, allergies, season and proximity. 


Development of the experiment

We will make questions to see what the children can remember about the last session, the teacher will guide the session always trying that the children are the ones taking the initiative. Making the right questions, the teacher will activate the previous knowledge and the scientific thinking process like creating hypotheses. 

In this activity we are looking for children to question themselves how ice creams are made. Do they know what they are made with? And how they are done? And where to put them? Why are they cold? This needs discovery and learning about the states of matter. We have a juice or a milkshake, liquid, and we want to make it an ice cream, solid. How can we do it? What happens? 


This step of change in the state of matter from liquid to solid is called solidification, but to children we can say the liquid has frozen. The freezer is very cold and it makes liquid become a solid ice cream or ice. We can compare it to the snow: children know that when it is snowing, it is because rain is so cold that it becomes solid and falls to the ground, creating ice. 

Putting in common the previous knowledge of lived experiences with ice creams with their parents, the ones from the previous session, and answering the teacher’s questions, children should be able to do the activity. Finally, it is time to enjoy the ice creams!

Assessment of learning

Table with items: YES/NO

  1. Shows initiative
  2. Participates in the dialogue
  3. Makes hypotheses 
  4. Identifies the liquid and solid matter 
  5. Explains the steps followed to make ice cream
  6. Explains the changes of matter

Equipment and materials to be used in learning unit (tools, ingredients etc)

  • Fruit (if we use fruit of different colors the result will be more appealing) 
  • Juicer, blender. 
  • Ice cream moulds (it can also be used plastic cups, yogurt cups, an ice tray…)
  • Wooden spoons, popsicle sticks…

Kind of setting

Lab, kitchen or playground

References - source

Bybee, R. W. (2010). What is STEM education? Science, 329 (5995), 996‐996. Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Melton, M. (2011). STEM: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics


Georgetown: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 

Kitchen Lab 4 Kids. (2020). Project description. Europe. 

Lamiña, L.G., (2019). Libro infantil ilustrado, sobre los beneficios nutricionales del consumo de frutas en los niños . Universidad de Las Américas, Ecuador. 


Los estados del agua para niños de primaria . (sense data). 


Organización Mundial de la Salud, Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y Alimentación. (2005). Un marco para la promoción de frutas y verduras a nivel nacional. 


Sociedad Española de Nutrición Comunitaria. (2015). Pirámide de la Alimentación Saludable. 9 

Rojín, M. (2020). ¿Cómo debe ser la dieta de niños y adolescentes?


Colorful ice creams

1. Usefulness for STEM education - integrating content of different disciplines

Cross-curricular character of the resource 


The range of S-T-E-M subjects included 


The presentation of possibilities of including artistic activities (STEAM approach)


2. Expected learning outcomes

Consistency (links) with preschool core curriculum


Communicativeness of description


3. Methodology of teaching

Clarity, communicativeness of instructions for teachers


Meaningful learning - using practical life problems


Original idea 


The level of ease in implementing the methodology to preschool age children


The level of ease in preparing necessary ingredients, materials and equipment needed


4. Sustainability

Ecological characteristics of materials/ results


Supporting healthy eating habits 


Relation with local traditions of cooking (using local products)


Low ecological footprint


Possibilities of inclusion (respecting cultural diversity and food intolerances)


5. Class management

Using differentiated forms of work - individual, team work etc.


Individual work





Team work





Whole group




6. Time management


Short activity (10-15 minutes)




Medium activity (20-30 minutes)




Long activity (1 hour or more)




Very long activity (1 day or more)

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