Science is an exciting subject for elementary students and learning about friction can be one of the most interesting topics in elementary science. Friction is something we see and use every day, but often times elementary-aged students have a difficult time understanding the concept. These friction activities for elementary students are designed to give your students a hands-on learning experience that will enhance their understanding of friction. Whether you’re teaching friction activities at home or in your classroom, these simple and stimulating activities are sure to ignite a passion for science in your students.
Friction Activities for Elementary Students
1. Toy Car Friction Experiment
Discover the different materials that cause different levels of resistance when pushing a toy car along a path. Friction might be a challenging concept for elementary students to learn, but in this friction activity, students will see friction in action!
Learn more: Cool Experiments with Friction
2. Incline Marble Racers
Who would've thought that using used paper towel tubes, pool noodles, and marbles could create an activity exploring friction? Students explore the changes in friction as they modify the track. Students also learn how a roller coaster works by using friction.
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy
3. Friction in a Bottle
The floating rice experiment is a must-try for teaching friction to elementary students. Friction activities can be engaging and this one is no exception. Using some rice, a pencil, and a bottle, students explore the science of friction.
Learn more:Little Bins for Little Hands
4. Marble Friction Art
Science and art go hand in hand. In this simple experiment, students use a marble, a tray, and paint to demonstrate friction. Not only will your students learn about friction, but with this friction activity, they'll also have a beautiful piece of artwork to take home and share!
Learn more: Simple at Home
5. Notepad Friction
Demonstrate the concept of friction with this fun friction activity that only requires two notebooks and a little strength! By interlacing the pages of the notebooks, students hold the ends and pull. This action shows the relationship between force and friction.
Learn more: Youtube
6. Friction Blocks
Some materials make things easier to move and some materials make things more difficult to move. In this experiment, students glue different materials to blocks to see which material causes more friction and which one causes less friction.
Learn More: Hands-On Teaching Ideas
7. Hockey Science
If you've ever played hockey or even know the game of hockey, you've seen the hockey puck glide across the ice. In this friction activity for kids, students explore a variety of objects that move across the ice and how friction impacts the way they move.
Learn more: Creative Family Fun
8. Force and Friction Exploration
In this experiment, students explore how many straws it takes to make a cotton ball at a predetermined distance. Will it be one? Two? More? This friction activity guides students in the exploration of friction, force, and motion.
Learn more: The First Grade Round-Up
9. Friction Game for Kids
For teachers, it can be complicated to explain the scientific meaning of friction. In this fun game, students explore friction examining different liquids and their ability to transfer gelatin cubes.
Learn more: Educational Toy Factory
10. Car STEM Experiment Friction Activity
What happens when one car goes down an incline and one car goes down a straight path? In this experiment, students explore the effects of friction on a car ramp.
Learn more: Taming Little Monsters
11. Hovercraft and Balloon Friction Experiment
Watch your students glow with excitement when you create a hovercraft out of a balloon and a CD disk. Using pressure from the balloon, the object rises and glides across the floor.
Learn more: Rookie Parenting
12. Friction and Forces
Test the strength of friction with this fun experiment involving sticky notes and clamps. Students discuss the ability of friction and just how powerful friction can be.
Learn more: Rosie Research
13. Tug of War
At some time or another, most of us have played a game of tug of war, but did you know there's actually science behind the classic game? Tug of war isn't a game of strength, it's actually much more than that.
Learn more: Kids Activities Blog
14. Demonstrating Friction to Kids
It's almost always easier to introduce a new topic when you can demonstrate it instead of explaining it. In this video and the friction lessons, the idea of friction is demonstrated to students through a variety of activities and exercises.
Learn more: Youtube
15. Learning about Friction, in the Snow?
While not all students have access to snow or may not have even seen snow in real life, this experiment allows students to use snow to demonstrate friction. Activities like this show that science is all around us! Even in our own backyards (well not if you live near palm trees I guess)!
Learn more: From Engineer to SAHM
16. Friction Lab
In this experiment, students will answer the question, "is friction good or bad." The experiment starts with a demonstration and allows students to develop their own experiments using critical thinking.
Learn more: Dr. STEM Mom
17. Coffee Filter Parachute
This STEM activity uses materials you probably already have around the house. Students create a parachute using coffee filters and develop an understanding of the concept of friction by dropping the parachute from different heights.
Learn more: There's Just One Mommy
18. DIY Marble Maze STEM Activity
There's no doubt about it, students love anything that involves creating something out of ordinary objects. This STEM activity focused on friction is no exception. Students develop a marble maze using straws, glue, and a few other materials to test the concept of friction.
Learn more: Crafts by Courtney
19. Friction Zipline
Building blocks, Zipline, science? I'm in! Students will absolutely love this STEM activity that teaches friction through hands-on learning. But what does a Zipline have to do with friction? Students will test different cages made of building blocks to see which one goes faster and why.
Learn more: Mom Brite
20. Streamlined Shapes an Experiment with Air Drag and Friction
Aerodynamics has a lot to do with friction. In this STEM experiment, students participate in a friction activity that will test the friction of a toy car by adding a piece of paper that has different angles and shapes.
Learn more: The Otto Toolbox