Skip to Content

How to Make Instant Ice in 5 Seconds

Save this idea for later!

Did you know you can learn how to make instant ice in 5 seconds? It’s true! There is such a thing as instant ice. But it’s not magic, it’s just science and part of instant ice experiments!

The instant ice science experiment is a super fun science demonstration that kids of all ages will love. It’s one of our favorite STEM activities for kids that we repeat year after year!

Want to know how to make ice in 5 seconds or less? The instant ice science experiment has the secrets! This super fun winter science experiment is a blast for kids. #stemactivities #stemed #winteractivities #scienceexperiments

Read on to learn how to make your very own instant ice tower!

The Science Behind Instant Ice

instant ice science experiment

There are a lot of instant ice tutorials online and instant ice is a common edition in magic shows.

But of course, it’s not magic that makes the ice form, but science. The secret to instant ice is simply nucleation.

elementary stem challenge cards
how to make ice in five seconds

Nucleation is a process by which one small action starts a chain reaction.

Bottled water is free of impurities. This is the secret to the instant ice experiment.

Because bottled water doesn’t have any particles to start the nucleation process, the water can cool to less than zero degrees Fahrenheit before ice crystals form.

But, once you introduce a crystal particle, the nucleation process begins and ice crystals form in the water.

how to make instant ice

Basically, when you freeze purified water, it is suspended in an almost-ice state until something triggers the nucleation process.

When you hit the bottled water, the water molecules bounce off of one another, forming instant ice crystals.

If you’re in a rush, these are our favorite weather science kits.

Instant Ice Experiment Hypothesis

instant ice tower

Here are some questions you can ask that will transform this science demonstration into a science experiment.

  • What was the optimum temperature of the water?
  • How long did the reaction last?
  • How long did it take the water to reach the instant ice stage?
  • Will the experiment work with tap water or rainwater?
instant ice science project worksheets

How long does it take to make instant ice?

It varies depending on your freezer’s temperature, but in most cases, it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to get the water cool enough to make instant ice.

Doing the Instant Ice Experiment

Follow along with our directions to complete your own instant ice science experiment.

What do you need to make instant ice?

instant ice experiment

You will need these supplies to make an instant ice tower:

  • Jar
  • Ice cubes
  • Bottled, purified water
  • Tray or plate

How to Make Instant Ice in 5 Seconds

Because instant ice can be tricky, it’s best to over-prepare for this experiment. We usually put half a dozen bottles or so in the freezer.

how to make instant ice in 5 seconds

Freezer temperatures vary, but it usually takes anywhere from an hour to three hours to get to the instant ice stage.

You can test if the ice is ready for the instant ice experiment by hitting one of the bottles on the counter. If it freezes instantly, the ice is ready.

If it stays liquid, your water isn’t cold enough.

Once the bottles are ready, move quickly.

how to make instant ice in 5 seconds

Set up your ice tower experiment station by placing an ice cube inside your jar. Place the jar on a plate or tray to catch messes.

If you want a really tall tower, flip your jar upside down.

Carefully carry the bottles to your instant ice station. Gently open the bottle and pour the water onto the ice cube.

how to make instant ice in 5 seconds

Watch as an ice tower forms before your eyes!

instant ice science project worksheets

More Ice STEM Activities to Try!

Can You Burn Ice? Burning Ice Experiment (not for young kids!)

How to Make an Ice Magnifying Glass (start a fire with ice?!)

Ice Cream in a Bag Science Experiment- Icy Science Fun!

Colorful Melting Ice Experiment

Save this idea for later!