Teaching the States of Matter

I just finished putting together a science set focused on teaching young children about the different states of matter. It's really fun and engaging because so many of the investigations include food, and food is ALWAYS a hook!

(Except for this one time ... *many years ago ... when we made homemade applesauce in class and one of my students would NOT EVEN try it. We actually got into a small argument about it. I know how ridiculous that sounds now, but I'm much more mature these days.)

*Emphasis on many.

Did you know you can make ice cream in a bag? It's one of those things you see on the Internet and doubt, but it's real. It works. And it tastes good, too. This investigation, Baggie Ice Cream, is a fun, kinesthetic way to teach children the science concept that states of matter can be changed by cold temperatures. And depending on the age of your students, you can even dig a little deeper as you explain why salt is needed to make ice cream. (The explanation is included in the packet ... don't worry.)

And root beer floats are a treat with all three states of matter ... a solid, a liquid, and a gas! The recording sheets for this investigation are inside the root beer float cover and the patterns for making it are included in the set. Make butter, freeze popsicles, pop some popcorn, and do a little cupcake magic. The packet is loaded with several investigations, anchor charts, student printables, assessments, games, suggestions for science journals, and extension activities for writing. Take a look!

2020 UPDATE:

I just updated the set to include two additional non-food experiments. They're popular ones you've probably seen online before, but we've tested them out, made a few of our own adjustments, and created science recording sheets to go with each one. Our favorite is this slime recipe. It's really easy and quick to make and it turns out right every time!

If you and your kids get a kick out of slime AND experimenting, check out this board on Pinterest. It's loaded with different kinds of slime using different ingredients and mix-ins. If you have time, it's really fun to see how different materials yield different results.

I also created investigation sheets to go with the ever-popular self-inflating balloon activity. If kids haven't already seen this happen, they'll be amazed. It's pretty cool! 

Need more ideas? I have a States of Matter board on my Pinterest Page. It has really cool ideas and kid-friendly videos on it. You can "Follow" the board to see new ideas and activities that I pin to it as I find them.  

Happy teaching! :)


  1. I bought the package but the bubbles, balloons, and matter experiment is not included like it shows here. Please send it to me as soon as possible at merhan_zeina@dpsk12.org. Thank you!!!

    1. The bubbles and balloons are extra ideas that are explained in the packet. There are no recording sheets for these, as they are just additional ideas.


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