Play With Your Food

Activity Developed by the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Description/Learning goals:

Participants will understand the different states of matter- solid, liquid, gas.

Participants will practice using scientific tools to take a temperature, and see the cause and effect of heat and melting.


Chocolate or coconut oil


Optional- other materials that could melt- ice, butter, sugar.

Activity Instructions:

Hold chocolate in your hands, or coconut oil. Does it melt? Let your child know that chocolate melts at about 93 degrees farenheit. How hot do they think their body is if it’s causing the chocolate to melt?

Test their guess by taking their temperature. 

What other things can you melt with your body?  

Science Concepts:

States of Matter: Matter exists in three phases- solid, liquid, and gas. Have your child name some things that are normally in these three phases (air, your toys, water, etc). Are there any that change their state in your house? (Like ice melting).

Melting Point: This is the temperature at which the phase change for something occurs. For example, when energy as heat is added to ice, the molecules in the ice move around, and no longer stay in a solid state. 

Early Learning 101:

Observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects

Encourage your child to make observations to what they’re seeing and feeling. How does the chocolate feel as it melts? Do you think the sun could melt the chocolate too if you set it outside? Encourage experimentation even if you may know the answer- such as do you think you can melt other things with just your body or the sun?