States of Matter for Kids
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Learning about states of matter in Science helps you make sense of the world around you (e.g. seeing a snow man melt, hanging out washing on a line to dry, water boiling in a kettle, melting chocolate in a pan or putting water into a freezer to make ice cubes).
In many countries, knowing all about solids, liquids and gases is frequently in the Science curriculum. Often chefs, chemists, lab technicians and all kinds of engineers and many other professions need this detailed knowledge in their jobs.
Once you understand the basics of Gases, Liquids and Solids, you should be able to:
- Group materials together and compare them based on whether they are a gas, liquid or solid
- See that changes of states of materials is often associated with temperature changes (i.e. when they are cooled or heated up)
- Understand evaporation and condensation in the water cycle
- Understand that evaporation increases as temperature increases
- Understand that temperature changes particle motion, particle spacing and internal energy
- Be aware of similarities and differences between solids, liquids and gases
- Diffusion in liquids and gases driven by differences in concentration
- Be aware of the differences in arrangements, in motion and in particle proximity explaining changes of density, state and shape
It goes without saying that there are plenty of equations and calculations associated with the technical details of how these state changes occur but at the basic level it is enough just to understand how these changes occur.
For information on material properties, see our article here on 'EVERYDAY MATERIALS, PROPERTIES, USES AND REVERSIBLE CHANGE'.
For information on formation of new materials , see our article here on 'CHANGES THAT FORM NEW MATERIALS'.
Gathered below are a superb collection of fun, interactive games, quizzes and training activities. Try as many as you can! You'll soon know all about States of Matter.
Help the Bank of England's banking crisis by destroying the hidden bugs in the kitchen which will steal the final code in only 60 seconds. They are hidden in various solids, liquids and gases. Use your knowledge that solids do not flow like liquids but can be shaped or cut, liquids can be poured and flow but keep their volume and gases....Read More
You're in the Arctic and must pick up all the camping stove parts so you can use it to melt ice to make water. Move the van and collect all parts before fuel runs out but beware of the arctic foxes. Then read the notes about States of Matter, solids and liquids,....Read More
This activity gives an explanation of Solids, Liquids and Gases. The key facts to remember are that solids are a fixed shape and cannot be squashed because their particles are too close together and held by very strong bond forces. Liquids can flow but still cannot be squashed because their particles are also too close together and have....Read More
This activity gives a summary of the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases when they are heated and cooled. They all expand when heated and contract when cooled. The actual particles themselves do not get bigger during expansion, rather the space between the particles increases thus increasing the overall size of the matter. On cooling....Read More
Print the cards and board game out and play it with a knowledgable adult who can help you set it up. A great and fun way to learn about solids, liquids and gases, how they change state....Read More
The water cycle shows how water can exist in the form of solid ice on glaciers, liquid water in rivers, or a gaseous vapour in clouds. Click on any of the water droplets (soil, glacier, plant, ground water, river, animal, ocean) to learn more about that particular topic. Answer various challenges set by Bridger the Dog on all related....Read More
Put each type of solid into the testing beaker and use the test button to shake the beaker. You have a choice of chocolate, candle wax, an aluminium can, butter and a lime iced lolly. Once you have inserted each one into the testing beaker you can heat up the beaker to melt it and then cool it down to re-solidify it. This gives you a....Read More
Learn about the water cycle : evaporation of water from lakes, rivers and the sea, condensation to from clouds and then precipitation from the clouds back to earth to eventually run....Read More
Heat the liquid in the left hand beaker to boiling point and watch what happens. Then cool down the gas to see what happens (i.e. condensation). Finally re-heat the liquids and then remove the beaker lids. Then use the 'Sorter' to try sorting various items into solids, liquids and gases at normal temperature (ice, steam, syrup,....Read More
Heat ice in a beaker that is being kept at -10C, up to 0C and watch it turn magically into water! Then cool it down back to ice and see if ice takes up a bigger or smaller volume than the water. Then boil the water to 100C, turn it back to water by cooling, then finally see if you can heat the steam to....Read More
Answer 15 questions about solids, liquids and gases to make an imaginary million dollars. Based on the famous 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' Game, you have 3 hints you can use at any time. There are no time limits in this game but you have....Read More
On Level 1 you have lots of phrases dropping down from the top of the screen and you need to catch them in either the solids truck, liquids truck or gas truck. Example phrases are 'condenses', 'can be compressed', 'particles loosely attracted', 'particles very close', 'freezes', 'melts', 'can be compressed', 'fills a container' etc. On....Read More
Watch this animation to see how particles move in solids, liquids and gases. Solid particles are packed tightly and have a fixed structure, touch each other and can vibrate. Liquid particles move with more energy and are not fixed to each other so are free to slide over each other. They take up the space of the bottom of the container.....Read More
Watch this interactive animation where you can increase the heat on solid ice at -30 Degrees Centrigrade and see how particles move as a solid, liquid and finally a gas (vapour, steam). You will see the ice turn to water with the corresponding increase in movement and liquidity of the particles and finally the high....Read More
This video shows students demonstrating Brownian motion in a liquid. The principle is similar for Brownian Motion in a gas. You are shown particles through a microscope. You are shown how a smoke cell or a suspension of polystyrene spheres in de-ionised....Read More