Ideas for learning about materials and their properties

We’ve got quite a collection of activity ideas for learning about materials and their properties so I’ve brought them all together in one post. If you have any more ideas, I’d love to hear them, so do leave a comment below. You could also share photos to the Science Sparks facebook page.

These activities are great for Key Stage 1 Science in the UK, but also fun for children of any age.

Grouping Materials

Try placing different household objects into an opaque bag and asking the children to guess what the object is using their sense of touch, which features of the object lead them to their guess?

Make different types of musical instruments, maracas, drums and maybe a guitar and ask the children to match the sound to the instrument.

acoustics

Try gently banging wooden, plastic and metal items on a flat surface, how does the noise differ between each? Can you use this property to categorise the objects?

Test objects to see if they’re magnetic, you could even make a magnet maze.

Can you sort a group of toys into metal, plastic, wood and fabric?

Practice squashing, stretching and pulling different materials to change their shape. Try play dough, fabric, paper, soft balls. Do they break? Do they go back to their original shape?

Changing Materials

Learn about how heat changes chocolate by making rice krispie cakes or chocolate leaves.

Find out what happens to ice when it melts, you could even make some slushy drinks.

Investigating ice

Trying freezing different food materials, water, syrup, bread, milk etc. Do some take longer to freeze/defrost than others?

Melt sugar and make honeycomb.

Transform cream into butter.

Properties of materials

Investigate which materials make the best hockey puck.

investigating materials

Investigate what’s the best material for a superhero cape or a fairy wand?

Can you make a superhero float?

superhero science

Make your own marshmallow Olaf and test which substance sticks him together the best.

How about designing and building a wooden bed?

Design and tech wooden bed

Design and build a cardboard kitchen.

Cardboard kitchen

Discover how materials can be weak in some circumstances, but very strong in others.

Magnetism

Learn about the different poles of a magnet with these easy sugru cars.

Magnetic-cars-sugru-hack

Or, make your own magnet maze to test different materials.

Which is the most waterproof?

Find out which natural materials make the most waterproof roof for a lego house.

lego house

Submerge soft toys underwater wrapped in different materials to see which is the most waterproof.

Find out which materials make the best boat.

Sound

Explore which materials work best at muffling sounds you could even make a guitar and try to muffle the sound of that.

Materials and their properties

Suitable for Key Stage 1 – Materials and their Properties 

Can you think of anything we’ve missed?

 

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