Chemical Change Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Are Chemical Changes?
  • 1:17 Chemical Properties
  • 2:00 Common Examples
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Michelle Vannoy
In this lesson, you'll learn what a chemical change is and how to tell if one is happening. You'll be able to determine a chemical change through the presence of known chemical properties.

What Are Chemical Changes?

It's a brisk fall evening and you are huddled around the camp fire with your friends and family for warmth. You hold a stick with a marshmallow on it into the edge of the fire, letting the marshmallow get brown and gooey. Your mom is roasting hot dogs over the fire, while your dad is opening and shaking HotHands hand warmers for each of you to hold. On this perfect evening, chemical changes are happening all around you.

A chemical change is any change that causes a new substance to be formed. For example, when the camp fire has burned completely out, what's left behind? Ashes! Ash is a new substance formed due to the burning of another substance, wood. This is a chemical change. The roasting of the marshmallow is also a chemical change.

The marshmallow gets a brown, crusty substance on the outside of it from roasting over the fire. This new substance on the marshmallow is evidence of a chemical change. Actually, all changes caused by cooking food in any way are chemical changes. How about the hand warmers your dad was opening and shaking? They represent a chemical change as well. When you shake the hand warmers, chemicals mix inside of the packages, creating a new (warm) substance.

Chemical Properties

There is a common property in all the chemical changes we discussed - not only has a new substance been created, but the change has created heat. There are several chemical properties that help you determine if a chemical change is taking place or not, and one of those is heat, whether the substance is giving off or taking in the heat. Here's a list of other properties that let you know that a chemical change has occurred:

  • Light
  • An explosion
  • A loud bang or pop (like with fireworks and gunshots)
  • Fizzing or bubbling
  • Color change
  • Corrosion
  • Rusting
  • Tarnishing
  • Substance cannot be changed back to its original substance

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