Fun with Air!

This lesson developed by Leona Meeks
Recommended Ages: Preschool and Early Elementary


What is air?
When can I tell air is around?

What You Need

  1. Your nose, mouth, lungs and air
  2. Several balloons of different shapes and sizes
  3. A fan
  4. A windy day
  5. A kite

What You Do

Experiment #1- Checking Out Our Lungs

  1. Lay out many different balloons on a table- long ones, round ones, oval ones, big ones and small skinny ones.

  2. Is there air in these balloons? Why or why not? Our body's lungs are like balloons. When we inhale or take air in, we are blowing up our lungs. When we exhale, we are letting out the air from our lungs. Breathe in slowly and exhale slowly. Close your eyes. Think about your lungs taking in and letting out air just like balloons. Try taking in and letting out air through your mouth and through your nose. It's pretty neat we can breathe both ways!

Experiment #2- Balloon Fun

  1. To see what our lungs are doing, blow up several balloons. Tie a knot at the end to keep the air in the balloons.

  2. When our lungs fill up, they expand like the balloons and hold the air. Can we see air? We can tell when there is air like seeing the balloons we blew up- they are puffed up and filled up with air from our lungs!

  3. What shape is air? Air takes up the shape it gets into. Look at the different sizes and shapes of balloons. Air took up the space and form that the balloons were.

  4. Blow up another balloon. Hold the end together with your finger tips pinching it. Slowly release your pinch to let air come out slowly. Hold the balloon end near your cheek. Do you feel the air? Even though we can't see the air, we can feel it and know it is in the balloon and coming out!

Experiment #3- Evidence of Air on Windy Days

  1. Look outside on a still and calm day. Are the trees bowing and moving around? Look at flags or laundry hanging on a clothesline. Look at long grass or weedy areas. On a still day, we know there is air all around us because nothing would live without air! But we can't see it!

  2. Look outside and go outside on a windy day. What do you see? Can you see evidence that air is all around us and moving around?

  3. Take a kite outside and try to fly it on a calm day. What happens? It can't get any "lift" because there is no wind! Try flying your kite on a windy day!

Experiment #4- Fan Fun

  1. With an adult, plug in an electric fan. Hold your hand in front of the fan about a foot away. You don't want to get your fingers too close to the fan and its blades!!!

  2. When the fan is turned "off" can you feel any air?

  3. Turn the fan on "low" and feel the air. What is happening? Air is being moved by the fan- sort of like making wind!

  4. Turn the fan on "medium" and "high" and feel the air. What is happening? As the fan blades rotate and move faster and faster, they push the air faster and faster. Turn the fan off. What happened to your wind? Where did it go?

What Is Happening

Air is pretty neat. We can't see it or touch it. We can see evidence of air when we put air from our lungs into a balloon. The balloon swells up with the air we put inside of it. Air has no real shape of its own. But air will take the shape of whatev er container it gets put into. We could see that when we looked at different sizes and shapes of balloons. We can feel air when we let a balloon give off air against our cheek or when we put our hand up near our nose or mouth and feel air coming out of our lungs when we exhale. We can feel air when we go outside on a windy day! Air is fun to play with and very important- we can't live without air!