Easy Science Activities for Kids

Freeze and Expand

Watch the water in balloons freeze and expand.
Watch the water in balloons freeze and expand.
©2007, Publications International, Ltd.

Try this easy science activity for kids to see how items freeze and expand. Have you ever slipped a full plastic drink bottle in the freezer at bedtime, only to find it cracked at dawn? Frozen things expand, which is a simple fact of physics. To find out how much, try this chilly challenge. You'll need to fill three small balloons with water, leaving a little air space at the top of each when you tie it off.

What You'll Need:

  • Balloons
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils

Step 1: Barely fill the first balloon with water, and then tie it, leaving a little air space at the top.

Step 2: Double the water in the second balloon, and tie it.

Step 3: Put three times as much water in the third balloon as in the first, and tie it.

Step 4: Measure the size of the water balloons.

Step 5: Put all three balloons in the freezer overnight.

Step 6: Measure the balloons again after they are frozen.

Step 7: Compare the results. You'll find the frozen balloons are bigger because the water inside expanded as it froze.

Why just draw graphs on paper when you can make them with cereal -- and eat some, too? Look on the next page for more on making 3-D cereal graphs.

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