My kids love hands on science experiments and I love simple ways to demonstrate our lessons. Although the states of matter are concepts that you can build on as your kids get older, it is one of the easiest things to teach while only using the most basic items in your own house. Grab a couple of household products and watch in amazement as your kids get to experience matter in exciting ways!
I started teaching the kids a very simple song about the states of matter to introduce it. With only singing the chorus a few times through, they were able to tell me the three different states. A perfect stage was set for teaching, digging, and watching the information come alive!
Our first day of learning about matter I used a very simple demonstration by using a pot (solid), adding water (liquid), and having them watch as it began to boil and create steam (gas). No preparation, as simple as can be, and as a treat, you can use the hot water to make some delicious hot chocolate. Who says you can’t have a little snack on the side?
You can do a simple experiment to introduce the 3 states by using balloons. Fill one with water and freeze over night(solid), fill one with water (liquid), and have your kids blow up one (gas). Talk about the difference in weight, how easy the balloons are to squish, etc. My kids loved tossing the balloons to see the difference in how they traveled and broke!
One of their very favorite experiments was demonstrating with two liquids to see which was one heavier. By simply filling a container of any sort with vegetable oil and having them use pipets to squirt in drops of water, they are able to see that water, being heavier sinks to the bottom. We added food coloring to our water to make the drops that much more visible. They couldn’t get enough of creating their own bubbles!
The most famous science ingredients came in extra handy for some fun with gases. Sprinkle baking soda onto a plate and then let them drop in little or big drops of vinegar. They won’t want to stop watching their fizzy creations. We tested out the difference in the reaction with using different sizes of droppers, even pulling out a turkey baster to see something more dramatic.
As if the experiments couldn’t get any easier or more fun to play with, we had to try our hand at OOBLECK. Is it a solid, a liquid, or something in between? Only comprised of cornstarch and water, your kids will love watching the goo go from dripping from their hands to feeling hard if they push on it!
Lastly for our matter round up, we couldn’t leave the subject without finding an awesome song to learn. We had an absolute blast as we dug our hands and our minds into something that is all around us. Matter, matter, it’s everywhere!