Simple Facts About Metals That Kids Will Understand


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Metals are all around us, but what are they? Metals are chemical elements that have a shiny appearance and are good conductors of electricity and heat. That means they can create things like wires, tools, and coins.

Here are some things about metals you can use to teach your child.

Different types of metals

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Tin
  • Lead
  • Zinc

Copper is the best conductor of electricity, while silver is the best conductor of heat. Gold doesn’t corrode, which is why it’s often in jewelry, and aluminum is a very light metal that doesn’t rust. Tin is often used in cans to prevent food from spoiling, and lead is a poisonous heavy metal. Zinc, on the other hand, is used to create coins.

Metals have different properties

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Depending on the metal, some will rust ( get old and corroded), get hot, conduct electricity, or bend. For example, gold doesn’t rust, and silver is a good conductor of electricity. You can use this information when you need to know what kind of metal something is or if you’re trying to figure out how to use it.

Metals can be recycled

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When a metal is no longer needed, it can be recycled and used to make new products. For example, when a car is recycled, the metal is used for new, or parts of cars. It helps reduce pollution and save resources. If your child wants to help out with recycling, they can! All they need to do is divide the metals from other materials then put them in the bin. It will help get more metals out of the environment and help companies create new things with them.

You can tell what kind of metal something is by its color

Metals are usually different colors, and this can help you tell what type of metal something is. For example, silver is a shiny, light-colored metal, and gold is a warm, dark-colored metal. This knowledge can help your child when they’re trying to figure out what kind of metal something is.

You can make metal sound different

When you hit aluminum with a hammer, it makes a high-pitched ring. If you hit steel with a hammer, it makes a lower-pitched ring. You can use the sounds of metals to figure out what kinds of metals things are. For example, if you hear a low-pitched ring when you hit a spoon, it’s probably made of steel.

If you have a child who’s interested in learning more about metals, try these activities

Play a game of “I Spy” while driving around town. Look for things made out of metal and see if your child can guess what they are. For example, “I spy something shiny!” or “I spy something that makes electricity !”

Draw a picture of your house and label all the metals that are in it. For example, you might have a copper pipe coming out of the wall, silverware in the kitchen, and a car made out of metal in the driveway.

Apply these metal facts to your child’s everyday life. If they’re trying to figure out what type of metal something is, have them use the color, properties, and sound to help them out. With a little knowledge, your child will be a metal expert in no time!

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