Air Takes Up Space

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11842

Playing with a deflated balloon or a floppy basketball isn't much fun, is it? Uninflated rafts don't float very well, either! They need air to take up the empty space! Learn why air is so important!


Physical Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever thought about the air around you and the space it takes up?

Probably not, because you can't see air. But it's there, and it comes in handy!

boy studying the sky with a magnifying glass

When you blow up a balloon, you are pushing air into it, and the air makes the balloon expand or get bigger.

This is an example of air taking up space.

The air around us takes up space, just like we do. The only difference is that we cannot see the air and the space it takes up, like we can see our bodies taking up space.

This idea is hard to understand because when we think of something taking up space, we usually can see the space that it takes up. In this instance, the air is see-through.

Take a deep breath and hold it for three seconds. Now, breathe out. Think about where that air went when you took that breath.

  • It went into your lungs, right?

It expanded your lungs to make them bigger than they were when there wasn't air in them.

Watch this cool video to see how air takes up space in your lungs when you breathe.

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Another way to think about air taking up space is when you inflate a tire with air. Here is a flat tire.

flat tire

  • Do you see how there isn't enough air in the tire for it to sit on the road?

Now, take a look at a fully-inflated tire.


  • Can you picture how there is more air in this tire, and the air inside the tire is taking up space?

Everything in the world takes up space, and air is no exception!

Continue to the Got It? section to see for yourself the space that air takes up and work on some fun activities!

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