Friction Facts for Kids – 5 Fun Facts About Friction

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Why do you think that some surfaces are more slippery than others? Let’s discover five fun friction facts for kids.

Friction Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: Friction Is Caused When Two Objects Rub up Against Each Other

Friction works against the motion and acts in the opposite direction. The amount of friction depends on the materials from which the two surfaces are made. The rougher the surface, the more friction is produced. For example, if you rolled a bowling ball on a surface, it would travel further on a wooden floor than it would on a carpeted floor. This is because there is more friction between the carpet and the ball than there is between the wood and the ball.

Friction Facts for Kids
A man is throwing a bowling ball on a surface

Friction Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: There Are Three Types of Friction

The three types of friction are dry, fluid and rolling friction. Dry Friction is the most commonly known friction. It occurs when two solid objects touch each other and it can be categorised into two parts. If the objects are not moving, it is called static friction. If they are moving, it is called kinetic friction. The next is fluid friction, which involves a fluid like water or air resistance. The last is rolling friction, which occurs when a round surface rolls over a surface, such as a ball or wheel.

Friction Facts for Kids LearningMole
A young boy is riding on a bicycle showing the wheel rolling friction on ground

Friction Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: Friction Can also Occur Between Layers of a Liquid

When friction occurs between layers of liquid it is known as viscosity. The more viscosity a liquid has the thicker the liquid is. For example, honey and oil are more viscous than water. Viscosity measures the resistance of a liquid to flow. Liquid can create less friction. For example, it’s harder for your bicycle to stop on a wet path than a dry one because the water creates a barrier between the bicycle wheels and the path.

Friction Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: Lubricant Can Reduce Friction

Friction can be reduced by using a lubricant. When machines start to break down or aren’t working very well, friction between moving parts may be too strong. Oil is often used to get these moving parts working again as it decreases the friction. A lubricant, such as oil or grease, is used to stop mechanical parts in a machine from wearing out or breaking.

Friction Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: If There Was no Friction We Wouldn’t Be Able to Stand

Friction keeps us standing upright. There is friction between our feet and the ground that we stand on which keeps us standing up. Have you ever tried to walk on ice? You will find it is much harder to walk on a slippery surface and you will likely fall. This is because there is less friction between your foot and the ice than there is with your foot and the hard ground.

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about friction as much as we loved teaching you about it. Now that you know how majestic this friction is, you can move on to learn more about STEM like: Electricity, Electromagnetic Waves and Circuits.

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