Kindergarten Science: Changing Solids to Liquids

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Candle stuck into a piece of bread. Sorry, we were out of cake.

We’ve been talking about states of matter around here, me and my 5 year old.  To help her begin to understand the difference between a liquid and a solid, we did a few fun experiments.

First we used wax. It was fun to watch Mommy light a birthday candle and watch the wax drip.  Of course, she’s seen this before, but this time we talked about how the wax was changing before our very eyes from a solid to a liquid.

Then we took a piece of crayon and Mommy held it near the flame while The Queen Bee observed what was happening:  “The crayon is melting, too.”

Next we played with ice melting.

 Finally, chocolate candy, held tightly in a little hand.  I asked her what she thought would happen. She knew it would melt. I said, “Do you mean to tell me that you can change the state of matter right here, right now?”  Big smiles. Yes! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot of really messy, gooey, melted candy because she was eating it as soon as it softened, but I think she got the idea.

We melted some more candle wax, this time with a big candle, then poured the liquid  wax onto a plate. “What will happen to this liquid wax now?”, I asked her.  She wasn’t sure.  “Lets check on it in a few minutes.”, I suggested.  When we did, I asked her again what happened.

 

 

 

“It changed into a solid!”,  she exclaimed.

“So, let me get this straight.  We had a solid candle and we changed it into liquid wax, and then we changed it back into a solid again?!”

“Yes!”, she exclaimed.

I also used this as an opportunity to talk about fire safety and to explain that only grown ups use lighters and matches.

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