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Three States of Matter

States of Matter for Kids

This lesson is about states of matter for kids. Learn facts about states of matter.


Matter is all around us. All materials that we know can be grouped as solids, liquids and gases.

Examples of matter around us - states of matter for kidsExamples of matter around us


These groups are called the three states of matter.


Examples of three states of matter

  • Wood ➡ Solid
  • Water ➡ Liquid
  • Air ➡ mixture of gases


Most of the substances on Earth are solids at everyday temperatures. Therefore, only a few substances are liquids or gases compared to the amount of solids.


Properties of solids liquids and gases

Properties of Solids

Properties of Liquids

Properties of Gases

Definite shape (A solid can be cut or shaped only when an external force acts upon it.


  • You can carve a piece of wood into a sculpture
  • You can stretch or bend rubber without breaking
  • Metal and plastic can be melted and can change the shape when cools down)

The properties of many solids make them useful materials for manufacturing items.

Indefinite shape (A liquid takes the shape of the container which it is kept)

Liquids take the shape of the container that they are kept

Put the same volume of water into each container. You can see how water takes the shape of the different containers it’s put into.

Indefinite shape (A gas spreads all over the place to fill up the space which it is kept)

Definite volume

Definite volume

Indefinite volume

Highest density

Density is lower than solid

Lowest density

Rigid and cannot flow

Can flow. Flows to the lowest point that it can, so that it fills the bottom part of a container.

Can flow

Greatest force of attraction among particles

Less force of attraction among particles compared to solids

Least force of attraction among particles

Particles are tightly packed and cannot move freely.

Particles are loosely packed compared to solids and can move freely by sliding over one another.

Particles are very loosely packed. The particles are in a continuous random motion because the gaps among particles are the greatest.

Cannot be easily compressed (squashed), expanded or changed

Cannot be compressed (squashed)

Can be easily compressed (squashed)


Particles arrangement in solid liquid and gas - states of matter for kids


Due to the property fluidity, gases and liquids are called fluids, because they both can flow.



Plasma is the fourth state of matter. It rarely exists naturally on Earth. We’ll later discuss about the state plasma.


Solid to liquid to gas


We identify substances as solids, liquids and gases in everyday conditions. This normal condition is often at the room temperature, which is the temperature inside a building and under normal atmospheric pressure. Various substances can exist in all three states of matter. The best example is water.


Three states of water

  • Water can be a solid  ➡ Ice
  • Water can be a liquid ➡ Water
  • Water can be a gas  ➡ Water vapour or steam


Learn how materials change their state with this lesson, states of matter for kids.


Changing States


Materials can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling (freezing). When a substance changes from one state to another a change of state happens.


The most common substance, water as an example;


Freezing Water and Melting iceFreezing Water and Melting ice


Heating Water and Cooling Water VapourHeating Water and Cooling Water Vapour


Hope you’ve enjoyed the lesson states of matter for kids. Also, try the activities ‘Solid, Liquid and Gas‘ and ‘States of Matter Quiz