Building Molecules Chemistry Activity

We moved on from talking about atoms to talking about molecules and chemical bonds. Since my kids are pretty young, this is just a basic introduction to how bonds are formed and made.

Building Molecules Worksheet: This is a free download.

The screen shot below shows 2 of 3 pages.

BuildingMolecules

We spent several days building different kinds of molecules:

On the first day we built water, oxygen, hydrogen and hydrogen peroxide:

Chemistry Worksheets for Kids

 

The next day the kids built carbon dioxide, chlorine, ammonia and acetylene gas:

BuildingMolecules2

 

And on the last day they built methane gas, ethylene gas, methanol (wood alcohol), propane gas,  nitrous oxide (laughing gas), vinegar and others:

BuildingMolecules3

 

We used EIN-O’s molecule kit. It doesn’t have the best reviews on Amazon, but it was just fine for our needs. It comes with double-bonds (see the red oxygen molecule above) as well as the plain single bond pieces. It is a bit confusing that there would be more than one hole on the hydrogen (white balls), but I just told the kids that was how the balls were made and they were fine with that explanation.

Update: When we did Chemistry again in the Fall of 2015, I opted to get the Molymod MMS-008 Organic Chemistry Molecular Model, Student Set (50 atom parts) (affiliate link) We actually got the Molymod Teacher Set (111 atom parts) – (affiliate link)  because we have 3 kids in our family). I would recommend getting a Molymod set because the bonds are flexible and you can do so much more with them.

Molecule-Set(affiliate link)

We are using Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry pre-Level I (affiliate link) as our spine.  LD will probably move to Level I Chemistry (affiliate link) soon.   I love the cute drawings. This book explains chemistry in a way DD can really understand!

P1210619Chemistry(affiliate link)

Again, if you’re interested in building the molecules we did you can download the worksheet I made by clicking on this link–Building Molecules Worksheet.

You might also be interested in these posts from our chemistry unit:

ChemistryReviewPictures

You may be interested in how we covered this topic when we came back around to it (as the kids got older):

See you again soon here or Homeschool Den Facebook page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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19 Responses

  1. This is just perfect for us! I almost purchased this kit but wasn’t sure if the pieces would stay together. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Liesl Den says:

      You can also just use styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners, but I decided to use this kit because the balls were colored already and saved time painting balls, etc. Plus styrofoam can be a bit difficult to manipulate (or falls apart) and the pipe cleaners would bend. I wanted the kids to be able to work on this independently and with the exception of one bad (malformed) plastic rod they didn’t need my help at all.

      Good to hear from you! I’ll need to catch up on your posts too… you always are doing such good stuff in your homeschool!

  2. Valerie says:

    Thank you for posting your worksheet. This was perfect for my 7 year old who wanted to learn about atoms and molecules for his science fair project. We bought a slightly different set that actually showed the double bonds as separate bonds – ours was called Mega Molecules. The kit was a big hit, and helped get the concept of “how many bonds per atom” down much better than the spaghetti and toothpick versions we’d seen a the family science nights.

    Thanks again for sharing so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel!

    • Liesl Den says:

      You’re welcome! Glad they came in useful. I’ll have to keep that kit in mind for next time round. Our kit did the job, but we could use something a bit more sophisticated next time around.

  3. Valerie says:

    Thank you for posting your worksheet. This was perfect for my 7 year old who wanted to learn about atoms and molecules for his science fair project. We bought a slightly different set that actually showed the double bonds as separate bonds – ours was called Mega Molecules. The kit was a big hit, and helped get the concept of “how many bonds per atom” down much better than the spaghetti and toothpick versions we’d seen a the family science nights.

    Thanks again for sharing so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel!

    • Liesl Den says:

      You’re welcome! Glad they came in useful. I’ll have to keep that kit in mind for next time round. Our kit did the job, but we could use something a bit more sophisticated next time around.

  4. Joshua Solomin says:

    My 5 year old son loves chemistry, and we did this activity today by painting styrofoam balls and connecting with toothpicks – we used your worksheet, so thank you very much for sharing! It was a great list of molecules for us to try – next we’ll try some more complicated ones like sugar, caffeine, etc.

    One other thing we needed was the structure: for each molecule we built, we also would google “XX molecular structure” to get a picture like http://www.enzyme-facts.com/images/Acetic_acid_flat_structure.jpg That showed us how the atoms connected, when to use a double bond, etc.

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! At some we’ll need to return to chemistry again, so thanks for sharing the link!! It looks really useful! ~Liesl

  5. Liesl Den says:

    You can also just use styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners, but I decided to use this kit because the balls were colored already and saved time painting balls, etc. Plus styrofoam can be a bit difficult to manipulate (or falls apart) and the pipe cleaners would bend. I wanted the kids to be able to work on this independently and with the exception of one bad (malformed) plastic rod they didn’t need my help at all.

    Good to hear from you! I’ll need to catch up on your posts too… you always are doing such good stuff in your homeschool!

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