How to explain atom to a ten years old?

2023 Jan 13

An atom is like a tiny building block that makes up everything around us. Imagine a toy building block, but instead of being made of plastic or wood, it’s made of even smaller things called protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons and neutrons are like the center of the toy block and the electrons are like tiny specks that move around the center. These building blocks can join together to make bigger things like rocks, plants, and even people!

They are so small that you can’t see them, even with a microscope. But everything around us is made up of atoms. For example, the chair you are sitting on is made of atoms. The air you are breathing is made up of atoms. And even your body is made up of atoms!

The center of an atom is called the nucleus. It’s where you’ll find protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have no charge. They are the heaviest part of an atom.

Electrons are much smaller and lighter than protons and neutrons. They are found outside the nucleus, moving around it in something called an electron cloud. Electrons have a negative charge.

You can think of the protons and neutrons as the “brain” of the atom, and the electrons as the “feet” because protons and neutrons decide the properties of the atom, but the electrons are responsible for how the atoms interact with other atoms.

For example, Oxygen atoms and Hydrogen atoms can come together to make water, H2O. Oxygen atoms have 8 protons and 8 neutrons in its nucleus, Hydrogen atoms has one proton and one neutron, when they come together, the electrons from Oxygen and Hydrogen atoms interact with each other and forms chemical bonds which hold the atoms together, making water.