Physical Change Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Heat Energy Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is a Physical Change?
  • 0:45 How to Make Physical Changes
  • 1:34 Water, Ice, and Steam
  • 2:21 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dacia Upkins

Dacia has taught all core elementary subjects for 14 years with a Master's degree in Urban Teacher Leadership.

What do making a paper airplane and painting a picture of your favorite animal have in common? They're both examples of physical change. By the end of the lesson, you will be able to define physical change and understand how to make these changes yourself.

What Is a Physical Change?

The first time my sister and I baked chocolate chip cookies, I pouted because hers were perfect and round. Mine looked like alien blobs! My mom comforted me by saying that even though mine looked different, they were still the same tasty cookies. The shape didn't change what the cookie was.

The difference in our cookies is an example of a physical change. A physical change is a change in matter that doesn't change what that matter is. Matter is what everything is made of; what you can see plus a lot of things you can't see. That cookie is made of matter, and so are you.

How to Make Physical Changes

You can create physical changes in many ways. Some physical changes include changing the shape, color, or texture (the feeling) of something. Remember, these changes don't make new things. If you cut your hair, you look different, but you're still the same person, right? These changes make something look and maybe feel different.

You probably cause physical changes all the time, like when you're making art or doing crafts. When you squeeze a lump of clay, you change the shape. If you use a pencil to poke little holes in a piece of paper, you change the texture. And that red paint spilled all over your blue t-shirt? You just changed your shirt's color.

So, even though the clay, paper, and shirt look and feel different, are they still clay, paper, and a shirt? They sure are! You just caused some physical changes.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account