Solid, Liquid, or Gas?


What’s the matter? Solid, liquid, or gaseous? Shape up your physics knowledge with a Model Magic® mobile that really matters.


1. Discover solids, liquids, and gases. Everything is matter, in either a solid, liquid, or gaseous state. All matter occupies space, has mass, and consists of atoms. Solids have hard surfaces and differ in how their molecules are arranged. Liquids are smooth and wet, flow, and take the shape of their container. Gases move, don’t stick together, and have no shape.

2. Find examples. With a small group, brainstorm common examples of the three states of matter: metal, rock, and ice are solids; raindrops, honey, and milk are liquids; steam, hot air, and compressed air are gases.

3. Design a mobile. Work together to create models of the three states of matter using colored Crayola Model Magic. Firmly press a paperclip into the top of each. Air-dry overnight.

4. With Crayola Scissors, cut a cardboard roll into one long and three short sections. Cut construction paper to cover the rolls. Attach it with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the rolls.

5. Label the three short sections—solid, liquid, gaseous—with a Crayola Washable Marker. Label the longer roll, too. Include information about matter if you wish. Tie your models to the correct short cardboard rolls with string or yarn. Tie the three sections to the longer section. Hang your mobile for others to see.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Recycled Cardboard Tubes—Use paper towel tubes, gift-wrap tubes, or long cardboard tubes that can be cut to any length. Health professionals caution against using recycled toilet paper tubes for arts & crafts projects because of the potential fecal contamination.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.


  • Create sequential models of matter that changes states. For example: liquid egg to solid egg or liquid plastic to hard molded plastic.
  • Students with special needs may benefit from gathering real examples of each type of matter and making replicas of these items.
  • Make a chart showing the different examples used by groups to make their mobiles.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • paper clips
  • string
  • recycled gift wrap or paper towel roll



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students gather information about the three states of matter.

  • Students classify, distinguish, and differentiate between states of matter.

  • Students build models and construct a mobile to represent the three different types of


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards