Would you like to teach your children or students about states of matter? This page includes states of matter activities and resources to help your children or students grasp some of the more difficult concepts about matter.
Matter is defined as “that which occupies space and possesses mass,” and it exists in three primary states: solids, liquids, and gasses.* Daily living teaches young children a lot about the states of matter. For example, most toddlers would know that if you spill water in the table, it will spread out and possibly even fall on to the floor, but the same is not true if you spill broccoli. As such, it should be evident that even young children have already gained a lot of knowledge about the properties of matter. However, doing activities related to states of matter can help children to solidify, categorize, and build upon the knowledge they already possess.
My learning objectives for the states of matter activities presented below are as follows:
- Kids will know that matter is anything that takes up space (has volume) and has mass.
- Kids will know that matter comes in three primary forms: solid, liquid, gas.
- Kids will be able to identify the key characteristics of each matter form, e.g.:
- Solids have a definite shape, volume, and mass.
- Liquids have a definite volume and mass, but do not have a definite shape. Liquids take the shape of their container.
- Gasses does not have a definite shape, volume, or mass. Gasses take the shape of their container.
- Kids will understand that heat can transform a solid into a liquid and a liquid into a gas.
- Kids will understand that cold can transform a gas into a liquid and a liquid into a solid.
If you are planning to learn about states of matter with your kids or students, the resources and ideas below should help make your states of matter unit a success!
States of matter activities
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* There is a fourth state of matter, plasma, but it is not typically taught to young children and is not covered in any of the activities listed here.