Here’s a clear way for even kindergartners to learn about how temperature affects states of matter: have a “race” between two toys trapped in ice, and see which one emerges first!
Before heading off to school, Travis selected two toys that fit into paper cups. We filled the cups with water and placed them in the freezer. By the time he got home, the toys were trapped in giant ice cubes. Oh no! Peel off the paper cups, and place the resulting ice blocks in larger plastic cups.
We filled these cups with water, one cold, and one warm (don’t use hot or the race will be over too quickly!). Travis was proudly in charge of pouring the cold water.
He hypothesized that the warm cup would melt the ice faster, and the results were immediately evident. Within a few minutes, the front wheels of the truck were already out of the ice. “It’s coming free!” he exclaimed.
About 15 minutes later, the car was completely free. Meanwhile the poor dinosaur was still in ice for hours, only breaking free at bedtime.