Did you know materials have different properties that make them suitable for different jobs? For example, windows usually need to be transparent and an umbrella and wellies should be waterproof.
The idea of this Little Mermaid activity is to sort a collection of items Ariel might have in her collection, depending on their properties.
“I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I’ve got whosits and whatsits galore.”
- ―Ariel, The Little Mermaid
Ariel keeps her treasured human objects in a secret grotto. In this activity you can sort Ariel’s objects into groups for her.
Sort Ariel’s Treasures
Sort Ariel’s treasures as well as you can, by looking at their properties.
Properties of Materials
Flexible and Rigid Materials
Flexible materials are easy to bend, rigid materials are hard to bend.
Transparent materials let light through, allowing you to see through them. Opaque materials do not let any light through (you cannot see through them).
If a material is waterproof it doesn’t let water pass through it and does not absorb water.
Magnetic materials are attracted to magnets.
Hard and Weak Materials
Hard materials are difficult to break. Brittle and weak materials are easier to break.
Materials which are conductors of heat allow heat to travel through them easily.
Materials which are are good conductors of electricity, allow electricity to travel through them easily.
Materials which are insulators do not allow heat or electricity to pass though them.
Properties of Plastics
If heat is applied they can be moulded into shapes.
Properties of Metals
Iron and steel ( which is mostly iron ) are magnetic
Some metals are magnetic. Iron is the most magnetic metal. Steel is also magnetic because it is made of mostly iron.
Properties of Wood
Properties of Glass
Breaks easily – although thick glass can be strong
Properties of Fabric
Fabrics can be natural ( wool, cotton and silk) or synthetic ( polyester and nylon )
Fabrics can have different properties, including stretchy, insulating or absorbent.
A stretchy fabric would be good for sports clothing and insulating fabrics good for winter jackets.
More activity ideas for learning about properties of materials
Design and build an umbrella for Incy Wincy Spider, remember to make it waterproof!
Make a bed for the Princess and the Pea.
Find the best material for a superhero cape.
I love this mermaid sensory bottle from Powerful Mothering.