Cytoplasm Lesson for Kids: Definition & Function

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  • 0:03 What is Cytoplasm
  • 0:22 Why Do We Need Cytoplasm
  • 0:51 What Is Cytoplasm Made Of?
  • 2:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: April DeBord

April has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language and she has her Ed. S. in Foreign Language Education.

Cytoplasm is a watery, gel-like substance that fills the inside of a cell. It is what the other cellular objects float around in while they are in the cell. Let's take a closer look at cytoplasm.

What Is Cytoplasm?

Cytoplasm - the watery, gel-like substance found inside of all cells - acts like a salt-water swimming pool for the other cell parts. Even though cytoplasm is one of the simplest parts of the cell, without it, nearly all the other parts would not be able to move freely through the cell.

Why Do We Need Cytoplasm?

Think about a bathtub full of toys. When the bathtub does not have any water in it, all the toys are all laying at the bottom of the tub. When you add water, the toys can float or move around in the water. Cytoplasm provides a structure for the cell like the water does for the toys in the tub.

You can also think of cytoplasm like water in a water balloon. Without the water, the balloon would not have a shape - it would just be flat. This is just like your cells without cytoplasm.

What Is Cytoplasm Made Of?

Cytoplasm is mostly made of salt and water. Although it is not quite as salty as seawater, the cell has to be careful to keep the right balance of salt in the cytoplasm in order to provide a good environment for the other parts of the cell. This is why you drink water and eat salt in your food. Your cells need this salt and water to regulate the cell. Next time you eat a salty snack, and then reach for something to drink, you can remember that you are helping your body's cells stay healthy.

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