Year 2: Uses of Everyday Materials

This list consists of lesson plans, activities and video clips to support the teaching of the uses of everyday materials at Year Two. It contains tips on using the resources, suggestions for further use and background subject knowledge. Possible misconceptions are highlighted so that teachers may plan lessons to facilitate correct conceptual understanding. Designed to support the new curriculum programme of study it aims to cover many of the requirements for knowledge and understanding and working scientifically. The statutory requirements are that children are taught to:

·  identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses

·  find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.


Links and Resources

Everyday materials: squash, bend, twist and stretch

This series of activities aimed at Year 2 explore a range of everyday materials through investigations and explorations. They include: ways to test materials for elasticity and flexibility and find out which paper is the strongest and which fabric is the stretchiest. Children also work in small groups to design and make a paper bridge to hold a toy car. Activities include:

Which ball is the bounciest?

Which fabric is the stretchiest?

Testing rigidity

Tough and flexible

Which is the strongest paper?

Paper bridges


publication year
2010 to 2019

12 files



Ginn Science: Activity Sheets Year Two

What could be more fun than comparing the use of different materials to make a hamster's cage? With activity ideas and worksheets, have fun mimicking the action of a hamster’s teeth on different materials to find out which would be most suitable for a cage that the hamster cannot escape from! Sheets on Pages 24-26 provide a basis for activities in which children observe and compare and sort different materials based on their properties.

publication year
1990 - 1999

1 file



Badger Science: Foundation and Key Stage One

Page 43 looks at the suitability of different materials for making a mirror. Children start by looking at windows and notice that sometimes they may see their reflection in them, especially when one side of the window is darkened. They then investigate which materials will make the best backing to produce a mirror effect.

Page 47-50 details lessons which look at how to test whether a material is suitable for a particular purpose by investigating which materials are most suitable for making a towel and which materials would make a suitable tent for a teddy bear.


publication year
2000 - 2009

3 files



Materials *suitable for home teaching*

This resource contains several activity sheets suitable for use in class or for follow up work. The sheets look at various aspects of this topic and include: identifying common materials and their uses, sorting and grouping objects, looking at natural and man-made materials and an assessment sheet.

publication year
2010 to 2019

6 files



Everyday materials: let's build


This resource contains 6 lessons on materials and is a good starting point for planning the topic. Children often think of ’materials’ as fabrics or textiles so may think that wood or metal is not a material at all and become confused. It is worth going through the key vocabulary with children to establish from the start that the word material may refer to any substance. Activities in which children identify materials and their properties are a great place to assess their level of understanding.




publication year
2010 to 2019

10 files



Unusual uses for every day materials

This resource provides a starting point for the Year 2 topic Uses of Everyday Materials, where children are starting to think about the properties of materials that make them suitable or unsuitable for particular purposes. It can also be used as a stimulus to get them thinking about unusual or creative uses for everyday materials.

1 file



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its a shame all these resources are pre 2014 national curriculum