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.






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