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Chemistry for Kids: Atoms

Updated on July 11, 2014

Atoms are the building blocks of everything. Yes, everything! They get together and make up something called matter. You are made of atoms. Your body's cells are made of atoms. Your toys are made of atoms. Your pets are made of atoms. Even the planet Earth is made up of atoms. They have three important parts: protons, neutrons and electrons.

They may be tiny but they’re very important. And when I say tiny, I mean tiny! You can’t even see them with a regular microscope. You need a special microscope called an electron microscope.

An atom
An atom

Chemical Bonds

Remember that atoms are the building blocks of matter. But blocks are only useful if you can put them together. Just like with Lego blocks, atoms must be able to stick together. This is called bonding. A chemical bond is the force that holds atoms together in molecules.

There are different kinds of chemical bonds. They are:

  • Ionic bond
  • Covalent bond
  • Metallic bond

Atoms use these different kinds of bonds to form molecules. They can also break bonds.

An example of a chemical bond
An example of a chemical bond

Example of a Chemical Bond

This is an example of a chemical bond involving two elements. F is flourine and Be is beryllium. When they bond they become BeF2 Beryllium Fluoride. Beryllium Fluoride is used to make a type of metal. Interestingly, flourine on it's own is a poisonous gas. Beryllium is a metal.

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