What’s the matter with matter? Matter is all around us and here are some fun and easy science experiments to explore states of matter. From chemical reactions to examples of reversible change to ice melt activities, there are states of matter projects ideas for all ages of kids.

STATES OF MATTER SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

states of matter experiments for kids

STATES OF MATTER FOR KIDS

What is matter? In science, matter refers to any substance that has mass and takes up space. Matter consists of tiny particles called atoms and it has different forms depending on how the atoms are arranged. This is what we call states of matter.

WHAT ARE THE THREE STATES OF MATTER?

The three states of matter are solid, liquid, and gas. Although a fourth state of matter exists, called plasma, it’s not shown in any demonstrations.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE STATES OF MATTER?

Solid: A solid has tightly packed particles in a specific pattern, which are not able to move about. You will notice a solid keeps its own shape. Ice or frozen water is an example of a solid.

Liquid: In a liquid, the particles have some space between them with no pattern and so they are not in a fixed position. A liquid has no distinct shape of its own but will take the shape of a container that it is put into. Water is an example of a liquid.

Gas: In a gas the particles move freely from one another. You can also say they vibrate! Gas particles spread out to take the shape of the container they are put in. Steam or water vapor is an example of a gas.

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CHANGES OF STATES OF MATTER

When matter changes from one state to another it’s called a phase change.

Some examples of phase changes are melting (changing from a solid to a liquid), freezing (changing from a liquid to a solid), evaporation (changing from a liquid to a gas), and condensation (changing from a gas to a liquid).

Does one phase take more energy than another? The change to gas takes up the most energy because in order to do so the bonds between the particles have to completely separate.

The bonds in a solid only have to loosen up a bit to change phase such as a solid ice cube changing to liquid water.

Check out our solid liquid gas experiment for an easy way to demonstrate phase change for kids.

solids liquids gasses experiment

STATES OF MATTER EXPERIMENTS

Below you will find lots of great examples of states of matter. Some of these experiments involve a chemical change. For example; add a liquid and solid together and produce a gas. Other experiments are a demonstration of a phase change.

All of these states of matter experiments are easy to set up and fun to do for science at home or in the classroom.

TRY THIS FREE STATES OF MATTER ACTIVITY

Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano

Hands down our favorite chemical reaction for kids, baking soda and vinegar! Check out states of matter in action. All that fizzing fun is actually a gas!

Balloon Experiment

Blow up a balloon with an easy chemical reaction. This experiment is perfect for demonstrating how a gas spreads out and fills the space.

Butter In A Jar

Science you can eat! Turn a liquid into a solid with a bit of shaking!

Butter In A Jar

Cloud In A Jar

Cloud formation involves the change of water from a gas to a liquid. Check out this simple science demonstration.

Crushing Soda Can

Who would have thought the condensation of water (gas to liquid) could crush a soda can!

Freezing Water Experiment

Will it freeze? What happens to the freezing point of water when you add salt.

Frost On A Can

A fun winter experiment for anytime of the year. Turn water vapour into ice when it touches the surface of your cold metal can.

Growing Crystals

Make a supersaturated solution with borax powder and water. Observe how you can grow solid crystals as the water evaporates (changes from liquid to gas) over a few days.

Also have a go at growing salt crystals and sugar crystals.

Grow Sugar Crystals

Freezing Bubbles

This is a fun states of matter experiment to try in the winter. Can you turn liquid bubble mixture into a solid?

Ice Cream In A Bag

Turn milk and sugar into a yummy frozen treat with our easy ice cream in a bag recipe.

Ice Cream In A Bag

Ice Melt Activities

Here you will find over 20 fun theme ice melt activities which make for playful science for preschoolers. Turn solid ice into liquid water!

Ivory Soap

What happens to ivory soap when you heat it? It’s all because water changes from a liquid to a gas.

Melting Crayons

Recycle your old crayons into new crayons with our easy instructions. Plus, melting crayons is also a great example of a reversible phase change from solid to liquid to solid.

make crayon stars with kids
Melting Crayons

Melting Chocolate

A super simple science activity that you get to eat at the end!

Mentos and Coke

Another fun chemical reaction between a liquid and solid that produces a gas.

Oobleck

There is always an exception to the rule! Is it a liquid or a solid? Just two ingredients, this is a fun activity to set up and discuss how oobleck can fit the description of both a liquid and a solid.

Bartholomew and the Oobleck Science Activity for Dr. Seuss
Oobleck

Soda Balloon Experiment

Salt in soda is a great example of a change of states of matter, the carbon dioxide dissolved in the liquid soda moves to a gaseous state.

Water Cycle In A Bag

Not only is the water cycle important for all life on earth, it is also a great example of phase changes of water, including evaporation and condensation.

Water Filtration

Separate a liquid from solids with this water filtration lab you can build yourself.

What Makes Ice Melt Faster

Start with a solid, ice and explore different ways to change it to a liquid. Fun ice melting experiment!

What Makes Ice Melt Faster?

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Check out these books for kids on States Of Matter!

AWESOME STATES OF MATTER PROJECT IDEAS

Click on the image below or on the link for more easy science experiments for kids.