States of Matter Experiments for Kids

Instructor: Felicia Landry

Felicia has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been a writer for the past 23 years.

Looking for educational, hands-on experiments to teach your students about solids, liquids and gases? These fun activities will aid children in understanding some concepts involving the states of matter such as condensation and evaporation.

Condensation In a Bag

This experiment will demonstrate how cooling water vapor can turn into liquid water.


  • Clear plastic bag
  • Small towel
  • Elastic band
  • Water

Begin by running water over the towel to get it wet. Wring out any excess water before placing the towel into the plastic bag. Make sure to leave some air inside the bag, then seal it with the elastic band. Place the bag in a warm area, such as near a heater or in the sun, for about an hour. Evaporation will cause water vapor to form inside the bag. As this vapor cools, it will form visible water droplets on the inside of the bag.

You can provide another visual lesson on condensation by showing students the lesson, What is Condensation? - Definition & Examples on

The Water Cycle in Action

In this experiment, children will witness the water cycle as it goes through the three phases of solid, liquid and gas.


  • 2 metal cans without labels
  • Rock or table salt
  • Food coloring
  • Ice cubes
  • Water

Add water and ice cubes to each can, leaving a bit of room at the top. Stir in food coloring to one of the cans. After a few minutes, students will see that the ice cools the air around the cans causing it to condense and form water on the outside. Although the water inside the can is colored, the outside condensation is clear, since this water comes from the air around the can. Next, add three tablespoons of salt to each can and wait about 15 minutes. When the salt is added the temperature drops lower and results in frost forming on the cans.

Your children can learn more about the water cycle with the lessons The Water Cycle: Precipitation, Condensation, and Evaporation and Water Cycle Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts.

Evaporation in Action

This activity introduces kids to the concept of evaporation.


  • Cups
  • Markers
  • Water

Either individually or in small groups, provide students with a cup of water and a marker. Have them note the water level on the cup then place it in the sun. Throughout the day and over the course of the week, mark the water level in the cup and observe as the water level slowly diminishes due to evaporation.

Teach your children more about the process of evaporation with the lesson Evaporation Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts.

Introduce even more scientific information to your children with the course Science for Kids. It includes video and written lessons on many topics including chemistry, biology and astronomy.