Everything around you is matter: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat. They are all matter. But, they are all different kinds of matter.
The air you breathe is a gas. It floats all around you.
The water you drink is a liquid. It flows smoothly down your throat.
The plate that holds your food is a solid. You can hold it in your hands.
Solids, liquids, and gases are the different states of matter.
Some things can easily change states.
Water is a liquid.
If you freeze it, it becomes ice, a solid.
If you boil it, it becomes water vapor, a gas.
Solids have shapes.
A book is a solid in the shape of a rectangle. A ball is a solid in the shape of a circle.
Solids are made of little pieces called particles.
They are packed closely together.
They can't move across each other, or float away into space.
They can be hard like a block or soft like a blanket.
They can be heavy like a boulder or light like feather.
They can be hot like a pizza or cold like an icicle.
Liquids do not have a shape. They take the shape of the container they're in.
Water can fill a round bowl.
It can fill a square pan.
Or it can fill a tall glass.
Liquids are also made of little pieces called particles.
The particles of a liquid are held together loosely.
They move and slide across each other.
When you pour water, it flows into a container. It's not like a solid.
Solids tumble and bang into each other.
Liquids are soft, and not hard.
They can be hot, like a mug of hot chocolate.
They can be cold, like a cold glass of lemonade.
Gas particles are not held together.
They float away and fill up the space they're in.
Gases can be light or heavy.
A gas called helium is lighter than air. That's why a helium balloon stays up!
Gases can be hot or cold.
When you're outside on a winter day, you can feel the cold air.
When you come inside, you can feel the warm air
There is another state of matter called plasma.
Plasma is a gas that has been heated.
It becomes charged with energy.
The sun and the stars are made of plasma.
Plasma is seen on earth in flames and in lightning.
It can also be made and used by people.
We use it to light up neon signs.
*Ask an adult to do these with you.
A. In your kitchen and/or bathroom, find 3 solids, 3 liquids, and 3 gases.
B. Identify parts of your body as solids, liquids, and gases.
C. Explore solids!
Find a solid object and examine it. Try to answer these questions:
D. Experiment with a liquid!
E. Experiment with a gas!
What you need:
What you do:
F. Play the "solid, liquid, and gas" game. (Requires 3 or more people).