Exploring Liquids

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Young learners investigate and observe the properties of three liquids -- water, vegetable oil, and corn syrup. They use their senses to collect data and ask and answer questions. This lesson for young learners introduces the scientific process.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Small bowls (three for each pair of students)
  • Light Karo (corn) syrup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Science Notebook for each student
  • Pen or pencil
  • Chart paper or whiteboard
  • Marker


  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Janulaw, Sharon


  • All rights reserved, The University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, and The Regents of the University of California, 2010

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, EAR-0624436