Water Sticks Together

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11844

What is soft, wet, and has an elastic skin? No, it's not the leftover pudding in the fridge! It's water! Learn about surface tension and molecules and belly flops, with hands-on experiments and games!


Physical Science

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What substance does every living thing need, that is wet and squishy, but actually extremely strong?
  • Did you guess water?

Water is the most important natural resource that humans have on the earth!

  • Did you know that you cannot live without water, and neither can any other living thing, and that includes all animals and plants?

Without water, life on the earth would not exist.

Here some fascinating facts about water:

Water is made of two elements: two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.

water molecule

Water can be in three different forms, or states, of matter: liquid, solid (ice), and gas (steam).

states of matter

Water covers around 70% of the earth's surface.

earth's surface

You cannot make water because it comes from nature. Actually, to combine hydrogen and oxygen to make water, you basically have to mix the gases together and light them with a match.

Just mixing the gases together isn't enough — you have to do something to get the chemical reaction started. The problem is that this creates a big explosion — so don't try!


Water molecules and drops are very strong — they like to stick together. Think of them as magnets that attract each other and stick together.

  • If you try to pull magnets apart, it is tough, right?

That is the same for water molecules. They stick together to create a strong bond on the top of the water. The top of something is called the surface, and the strength of it sticking together is called tension.

water surface

You may not think water is very strong, but you would be mistaken! The bond, or surface tension, that water has is extremely strong, and when the molecules stick together, they cause a strong, elastic, skin-like layer.

As you watch What is Surface Tension? Kids Science Experiments (Champak Sci Q) about surface tension, write down three facts that you learn:

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  • So water has skin, huh?

That's fascinating! Thinking about slapping the water with a flat hand really helps to understand what surface tension is and how strong it can be.

  • Have you ever jumped in the water and done a belly flop?

That is when a large part of your body, like your stomach, hits the water all at the same time, making your skin sting and hurt. That is surface tension!

Now that you know what surface tension is, and how strong it is, in the next sections, you will get the opportunity to explore and experience it!

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