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Simple model of an atom to build?


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I'm looking for a **simple** model of an atom to build with the kids. I'd love to use gum drops if possible. I did a search on the internet and there is just so much out there and a lot of the models seem complicated. All my kids are grammar stage and this is their first exposure to chem so I want something simple! I'm looking for something with photos/pictures. I'm not a chem person! :-) (Elemental Science, which we're using, suggests pom poms, but I have a feeling the glue is going to get pretty messy with trying to stick the poms together). Anybody have a link to something I could use? Thanks!

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Do you have the Usborne Science Encyclopedia to go with ES? If so, just look at diagrams in the atoms and molecules section for ideas about real atoms and molecules.


For atoms, we used large an small marshmallows. We colored some of the large ones to be neutrons. The uncolored large ones were protons. The minis were electrons. The neutrons and protons were stuck together with short pieces of toothpicks so they were right against each other to simulate the nucleus. The electrons were stuck on using full toothpicks to simulate the distance from the nucleus. For molecules, have a supply of gumdrops and toothpicks. Designate different colors to be different elements (hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen would be a good start). Let them go at it, it will give them the general idea.


Have fun,

Linders, a Chemisty major who still did it just this simply

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I just did this yesterday with the science class I'm teaching, and used this link but modified it a bit.


I ditched the banana stand idea, and just hung it from a ring. It worked great! I'll try to come back later and post a picture. . . . .




Thanks to both of you! I'm a visual learner so I need picts! There's a picture on the site so that's all I really need.


I love this idea! Thanks so much!

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We had a really fun time with this...


We used crackers and cookies of different sizes.

I drew a basic "structure" on poster board - a circle where the nucleus was, and some big rings around it

I had cards with elements on them copied off a simple periodic table - and the kids had to look at the card and put the right cokies and crakers in the right places.

If they did it right- they got to share the snacks!

We did this for a number of days - and boy - they learned how to read those cards!

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