Properties of Matter


IMG_3398It was all about science fun this week! Our theme this week compliments what our students are learning with the Unique Curriculum. Our sensory group boxes had us asking “is a solid, liquid, or gas?”. The fine motor groups made art projects that explored different properties of matter. Our friends at Cornerstone School gave us the idea for an experiment the language group conducted which looked at different states of matter!





IMG_3737IMG_3824In this colorful box there were lots of SOLID things that were hard, soft, short, long—–and all ORANGE! Lots of opportunities for practicing visual and tactile discrimination skills in addition to sorting fun.

IMG_3792The science access point match objects with similar observable properties, such as size, shape, color, or texture can be addressed here.




IMG_3579IMG_3568Properties of liquids were explored with our 2 discovery bottles. We really like discovery bottles around here and these were no exception. The students were pretty fascinated as they watched the beads and glitter swirl around in oil and water.

IMG_3409                                        Track objects in motion is a science access point.




IMG_3565IMG_3796The inside of a bubble is filled with air which is a GAS! Besides the traditional bubble wand, we also had this fun toy that blew bubbles when squeezed.

IMG_3826The science access point observe and recognize a predictable cause-effect relationship related to a science topic can be addressed with this activity.




IMG_3820IMG_3784As usual, our kinetic sand was tons of fun—-especially this sparkly purple version! We also put in 3 different solid shapes (circle, square, triangle) for our students to discover. Kinetic sand (we bought ours on sale at Michaels) is SO much fun to explore. It is a SOLID but behaves like a liquid—–how cool is that!

IMG_3385Recognize common objects with 2-dimensional shapes is a math access point.




IMG_3370IMG_3559Our mixture of cornmeal and potato flakes has a really interesting texture—–kind of soft and kind of crunchy. It is also a little dusty so we made sure to have a towel handy to wipe off hands! The letters G (gas), S (solid), and L (liquid) could be discovered as the mixture was pushed around and at the bottom, a picture of the different states of matter.

Track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point.




IMG_3587IMG_3774This box of cloud dough was fun to squeeze and scoop BUT this wasn’t regular cloud dough—–we added some baking soda and koolaid powder to the mixture. When squirted with vinegar the cloud dough fizzed, bubbled, AND changed color! Needless to say this was turned out to be lots of fun—–and kind of addictive to watch 🙂

IMG_3851The science access point recognize changes in observable properties of materials is addressed with this activity.




IMG_3557IMG_3811We explored liquids again using different sizes of scoops. A couple of pool toys were included for more sinking and floating experimental fun.

Since the vinegar we used with our cloud dough had a strong odor, we needed a strong scent for our lotion and water play this week. Bath and Body Works eucalyptus was a perfect choice for us!

IMG_3779Recognize differences is sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point.




IMG_3607IMG_3615The eucalyptus lotion was a very alerting scent and certainly got our students attention! We asked our students if they liked the scent and where they wanted it applied.

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.






On Tuesday our fine motor group made a tactile collage!

IMG_3510IMG_3508We started by discussing the shape of the plates and our students used communication symbols to identify a circle.

Recognize a common object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.






IMG_3499IMG_3465The the students had lots of fun making their collages with a variety of bits and pieces including soft foam, fluffy duct tape, bumpy plastic, and hard popsicle sticks.

It was a fun way to use up all those leftovers from other projects!

IMG_3475Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.





IMG_3505IMG_3492TA DA—-fabulous feely fun!











On Wednesday we made a combination art AND science project—-microwave puffy paint!

IMG_3685We started by discussing the shape of our cardboard (cut from cereal boxes) and using communication symbols to identify it’s rectangular shape.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.









IMG_3629IMG_3639Then we mixed up our “paint” using 1 TBSP each of flour, salt, water, and some gel food coloring.

Since the mixture started off dry and then became wet this activity addresses the science access point distinguish between items that are wet and items that are dry is a science access point.







IMG_3652IMG_3632The paint was pretty thick but regular paint brushes worked just fine and students really had fun painting their pictures.

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.







IMG_3645We put the picture into the microwave for 30 seconds and it came out PUFFY—–so cool!!!! The students were pretty fascinated with how different the paint looked and felt. Ok, so the adults were pretty fascinated also 🙂

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.







IMG_3663IMG_3649TA puffy DA!!!!

IMG_3644                                                                     Love it!







We talked about solids, liquids, and gases during our langauge group this week.  We started out with a simple experiment demonstrating how the states of matter change.

IMG_3883IMG_3891We froze colored water to make blue ice cubes and yellow ice cubes.  When we pulled them out of the freezer, we talked about how they felt COLD and HARD.  We also talked about what COLOR they were.

The science access point recognize the temperature of items as cool and warm is addressed here. The science access point identify objects by one observable property is also addressed.





IMG_3896We popped out the blue ice cubes into a colander.  We discussed the fact that the ice cubes did not change their shape, a quality of SOLID matter.

Recognize that solids have a definite shape is a science access point.








IMG_3898IMG_3906Then, each of our students got to activate a hair dryer and we started melting the ice cubes.  Once the blue ice was melted, we showed our students how the SOLID had changed into a LIQUID.  We melted the yellow ice cubes after that and talked about how the physical property had changed colors from blue and yellow to green.

Identify ice as a solid and recognize that ice can change to water are science access points.

We also heated the bowl up in the microwave and our students got to see the steam rise out of the bowl, showing how GAS was produced. Of course, we made sure to keep the bowl far away from curious fingers 🙂




IMG_3947IMG_3964After the experiment, we decided to have a little treat (you know we love our treats in this group!).  This was neat because we were able to see each of the different states of matter but this time, we observed the LIQUID first (hot chocolate), then the GAS (the steam from the hot chocolate after heated up), and then the SOLID (marshmallows).

Super fun and super yummy!





IMG_3759We had a blast getting all “scientific” this week! Join us again next time for more fun—–Group by Group!

3 responses »

  1. As usual, this is a winner. I am especially interested in the squeeze toy that blows bubbles. Can you tell me where you found that? I wonder if I could make my own…. See, you have me thinking- at midnight! PS I imagine folks were congregating in the hallways when all those aromas started wafting around!

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