Solids, Liquids, Gas - Oh My!

If you're like me, learning the difference between solids, liquids, and gases as a kid felt just plain confusing. Hoping to make the concept a little easier for my boys, I was thrilled to run across this hands-on science activity from Fit Kids Clubhouse. I'm happy to report that I pinned it, did it, and loved it.

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. 2+ hours

  3. Messy


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    The night before our mini-science project was going to begin, my three year old helped me fill a balloon with water. I tied the end and asked him to place it in the freezer. (Right next to my tub of mint chip ice cream.)

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    The next morning, he eagerly filled another balloon with water. This step actually took us two tries because the first balloon exploded, spewing water all over our bathroom. I was not very happy about the surprise but my son LOVED it.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    With the water balloon in hand, I helped my son fill a final balloon with air. Then he ran to the freezer and pulled out our project from the night before. "It's cold!" he reported as he brought it back to the table. He laid it next to the other balloons and excitedly began squeezing each one. He talked about what they felt like before I labeled the balloons "solid", "liquid" and "gas".

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Done!

    My little scientist continued his work by inventing different ways to compare the balloons. He dropped them on the ground one-by-one. "WHOA!" he shouted as the solid balloon crashed to the floor. He tapped them on the table to listen to their sound. He compared the weight of the balloons and noticed that the solid and liquid weighed the same. As he worked, I encouraged him to use the words "solid", "liquid" and "gas" so that he began associating the differences with each state of matter. Is it still a complicated concept? Absolutely. But this activity definitely brought one scientist closer to understanding it.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

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