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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