Exploring Matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas

I have been talking about different states of matter with my kids and after working on experiments to explore each on its own i.e. For Gas we made the most amazing gas bubbles and did the baking soda and vinegar experiment in a bottle to fill a balloon. For Liquids we have done so many experiments with absorption, transferring, water tables, movement, and sensory bottles. Lastly for solids we have dedicated whole play dates to exploring with ice, making slimehidden object boxes, more sensory bottles and for a fun experiment we made Ooblick a non-Newtonian material that is both liquid and solid.
For this experiment though we are focusing primarily on the differences between solid, liquid and gas. To do this we inflate three balloons. Two are with water and one is with air. One of the water balloons we place in the freezer over night. So we have our solid (ice) liquid (water) and gas (air). To begin the project We talked about the similarities and differences of what we see. They are all balloons, they are all the same color, what other similarities and differences might we see? What similarities and differences might we feel? The balloons all have the same texture but they have different temperatures, different weights.
Now we should make some hypothesis’
*First fill three tubs with water*
What do you think will happen to each balloon when it goes into the water? Will they all float?
Test the hypothesis have the balloons placed in the buckets of water what happens?
Take the balloons out and place them on some towels.
What do you think will happen when we pop the balloons?
Test the hypothesis have the kids POP the balloons. What happens? What do they observe? What do they discover?
Talk about has happened once the balloon pops. The ice balloon is solid so it stays tightly together in its own form. The water balloon will take the path of least resistance, it flows freely and will take the form of the container it is in. The gas balloon when it is popped transfers to everywhere.

I usually do an other experiment with role playing. So the children have the chance to act out the different states of matter..

Have the children gather in a circle. When they are a solid they are tightly packed they are a smaller circle shoulder to shoulder close together. When they become a liquid they separate out hold hands  and can move together they stay connected and I have them gently sway or move holding hands in the circle. When they turn into gas they spread out their arms so their fingertips touch the next persons fingertips then they put their hands down. They are close but not touching and they can move around but they don’t touch another “gas molecule”.
**If you are doing this with a large group of kids I would make a set of three balloons for every four children to experiment and predict with.***

For older kids who are interested I would have them journal draw pictures of what they have observed.
For a list of some FANTASTIC Open-Ended Questions to have more meaningful conversations with preschoolers and school aged kids please visit this post.
I have been doing these experiments with my classes for over 15 years but I have never blogged about it until now. I did see a fantastic post about it on the Fit Kids Clubhouse check it out here!

This post was sponsored by Ada Twist, Scientist.

Who’s Ada Twist?

The creators of the New York Times bestselling picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect are back with Ada Twist, Scientist (on sale September 6), a story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world.

 Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. Not afraid of failure, she embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery.

You can find places to purchase this book, find fun activities, and see more blog posts from some very talented bloggers on the Ada Twist Scientist Site

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my post.






Sink or Float Tray Experiment

Materials Needed:


bowl with water

random assortment of materials some that sink some that float
I taped off our tray into sections so once they figured out whether something sunk or float they could put it in one square or the other.
This is a fun game the kids love playing in water and they love discovering which items sink and which float. Its fun to if you want to let them go around and collect more items to discover if they sink or float. I also like having the kids make a hypothesis before they drop each item in to the water trying to guess if the item in question will sink or float.

Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set

IMG_20160413_152154966We have been working on STEM/ STEAM activities for some time now. While I have the science, math, art and engineering activities pretty well situated finding suitable technology has been harder for me to incorporate. When we look for new toys we are always looking at what and how the kids will be learning from them. By introducing children to the fun of coding and puzzle solving with this colorful, programmable mouse with a build-able customizable maze we have introduced our technology. This toy offers a  great way to introduce young children to science, technology, engineering, and math. Children program the mouse with easy push-button controls to follow their created maze and find the cheese. The Mouse lights up and makes adorable sounds setup is perfect for tabletop or floor play. My children love setting the maze up in different ways. Children experience STEM through hands-on activities and experiments while challenging them to think critically, solve problems effectively. While this toy is definitely ideal for ages five plus my three year old also loves helping his big brother and sister set up the maze and he really enjoys watching the mouse after it has been programmed go through the maze. I have also let me try coding just on a much smaller scale where the mouse only needs to be programed one to five paces. If it is nice and simple my three year old can feel accomplished and we can work towards more complicated coding.

There are also two different kinds of cards that come with the Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set. One type of card is a maze card that shows examples of mazes you can setup, they help to give ideas. My kids do prefer creating their own mazes. But it is also a learning experience to try and duplicate and follow an example. The other type of card is one that helps with the coding. The cards have the symbols for the coding patterns so you lay out each card in front of you so you can see the code you will need to input into the mouse. We have found it helpful especially when our mouse doesn’t find the cheese and goes a little astray we can follow the code we set and find the kinks in our coding a little easier.
stemThe race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese! This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Create your path with 16 maze grids to create a 20″ x 20″ maze board, 22 maze walls, and 3 tunnels for endless possibilities. Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse (LER 2841), sold separately. Colby measures 4″L and requires 3 AAA batteries (not included).

Disclaimer: I received a free product to help facilitate this review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and unbiased.

Blood Sensory Bottle

Only use Gatorade or G2 bottles for the sensory bottles they are a heavier plastic so they hold up better and keep a unison look so everything looks good. They come in different sizes you can find smaller ones for small hands if you need to.

Make sure to ALWAYS seal your bottles securely! I cannot emphasize this enough. Unless you want your bottle opened and the contents poured out. SEAL IT… with glue. Duct tape can be peeled off by a determined kiddo. Glue is much harder for them to open up.

We made Sensory bottles to show the different properties of blood.
IMG_20160202_155041629Materials Needed:

Red pony beads

white pony beads or white buttons (slightly larger then the red)

Glitter in silver or red



IMG_20160202_155114116Simply add all the ingredients to your bottle. There should be lots of red blood cells (red pony beads) I think I used 500. to fill your bottle around 2/3+ to the top. the plasma (water) goes to the top. Next White blood cells (white beads or buttons) which are larger then the red but fewer in number. The glitter represents the platelets.


Fine Motor and Science- Absorption Experimentation

absorption experiment
Yesterday we did an experiment exploring absorption. Absorption is when an object absorbs or soaks up a liquid. Yesterday we made it easy. Today we are really testing which objects absorb and which objects do not absorb.
The use of the pipette puts the hand in a pincer grasp and while coaxing the water into the pipette your child is using their fine motor skills. Also the picking up and moving of the cotton balls is using their fine motor skills as well
We used materials from around the house. So everyone will use different things I also split the tray so that objects that absorb are on one side and objects that repel the water are on the other side.
bowl for water
basket or bowl for items
plastic frog
piece of fun foam
wooden bead
glass pebble
cotton ball
tissue paper