Push & Pull Forces Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Is Force?
  • 0:43 The Force of Friction
  • 1:01 The Force of Gravity
  • 1:23 Push and Pull Forces
  • 2:05 Force and Energy Work Together
  • 2:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Farrell

Jen has taught Science in accredited schools in North & South America for thirteen years and has a degree in Sociology (Epidemiology & Aids Research).

May the force be with you during this lesson, as we investigate pushes and pulls. We'll discuss the forces of gravity and friction and learn how we use pushes and pulls in everything we do.

What Is Force?

Have you ever been in the middle of enjoying a scrumptious piece of food, and just as it enters your mouth...splat, it slips out of your hands and falls on the floor? If so, then you've experienced force. Force happens all around us, all of the time. Luckily, not all examples include mouth watering foods falling to the floor.

Force is a push or a pull of an object that causes the object to speed up, slow down, or stay in one place. In other words, a force is what causes an object to move. Friction and gravity are two types of forces that influence how an object moves. Let's learn more about them.

The Force of Friction

Friction is the force that acts to slow an object down. Imagine trying to ride your bike through sand. Just thinking about this can make your legs burn from all the hard work. That is because the sand is a type of friction. In other words, it's a force working against your legs as they push against the peddles.

The Force of Gravity

Gravity is the pulling of an object towards Earth's center. When a ball is thrown up in the air, it slows down and falls back to the ground. That is because gravity pulls the ball back towards the earth. Everything on Earth is influenced by the force of gravity.

Now that we understand that force moves objects, let's take a look at how we use force in everything we do.

Push and Pull Forces

A push is the force that moves an object away from something, like when you push a plate of Brussels sprouts away in disgust. We use the force of push when we kick a soccer ball, press the gas peddle of a car, push our chair in, and press the buttons on a phone.

A push and a pull are opposite forces, meaning they move objects in different directions. Therefore, a pull is the force of bringing an object closer. We use the force of a pull when we move our bowl of ice cream closer to us, open a door, or climb up a rope.

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