Friday, May 10, 2013

Simple Science: The 3 States of Matter for Toddlers (It's FREE!)

I still remember the simple demonstration I saw 40 years ago:  My teacher put an ice cube on a metal spoon, held it over a flame, and the ice melted.  I was mesmerized!

The three states of matter:  liquid, solid, gas.
It's THAT EASY to give your small children a simple science lesson, and it's free to boot.  Start by showing them water (liquid), ice (solid) and an empty jar (gas).  Explain that these are all the same substance, but they are all present in a different form.

For this demonstration we put a small cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  Then we boiled water, showed the children the steam, and "Gandalf" held the cold metal sheet above the pot.  Right away the steam condensed into water on the cookie sheet, and some even froze!

Finally, I held a metal spoon containing an ice cube over the lit candle you see above.  The ice melted, the water dripped down (causing an exciting "sizzle"), and the water eventually put the candle out!

This took less than 10 minutes, but the 5 toddlers present (ranging in age from almost 20 months old to 3 years old) were all captivated!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun activity with so many involved! I featured your post and photo in my Montessori-Inspired Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel post at