Today’s experiment is very simple, but hopefully fascinating for even very young children. We’re going to investigate which solids dissolve in water.

You are watching: What type of substances dissolve easily in water

When a substancedissolves in water, you can’t see it anymore, it’s still there, but has mixed with the water to make a transparent liquid called asolution.

We call substances that dissolve in watersoluble.Sugar and salt are examples of soluble substances.

Substances that do not dissolve in water are calledinsoluble.Sand and flour are examples of insoluble substances.


You’ll need

Water ( warm and cold )Substances to try to dissolve eg. sugar, coffee, pepper, sand, flour, salt.


Add a teaspoon of whichever solid you are testing to a glass of cold water and a glass of warm water, stir and observe the difference.

Watch to see if the solid dissolves in the warm water and cold water and if one is better than the other.

Can you design a chart to record your observations?


Which solids dissolve in water

Things like salt, sugar and coffee dissolve in water. They are soluble. They usually dissolve faster and better in warm or hot water.

Pepper and sand are insoluble, they will not dissolve even in hot water.


For older children

Everything is made of particles which are always moving. When a soluble solid ( solute ) is mixed with the right liquid (solvent), it forms a solution. This process is called dissolving.

Two things that affect the speed at which a solid dissolves are temperature and the size of the grains of the solid. Caster sugar which is made of fine particles will dissolve quickly, but bigger sugar particles will take longer.

Solids dissolve faster in hot water as in hot water the water molecules are moving faster, so bump into the solid more often which increases the rate of reaction.

More Dissolving Experiments

Make a naked egg and watch as vinegar dissolves the calcium carbonate of the eggshell.

Lava lamps work because the effervescent tablet dissolves in water releasing carbon dioxide.


More Science for Kids

Don’t forget we have lots more easy science experiments for kids at home you can try.

You might also like our science books! This IS Rocket Science contains 70 fun space experiments for kids, including bottle rockets, film canister rockets, space marble runs and shadow puppets.

Snackable Science contains 60 tasty and edible science snacks!!

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These activities are designed to be carried out by children working with a parent, guardian or other appropriate adult. The adult involved is fully responsible for ensuring that the activities are carried out safely.

Reader Interactions



November 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm

For some reason, I struggled to understand solids dissolving in liquids. It was probably until I was in high school and taking Chemistry before I really got it.