Squashing, bending, twisting and stretching

Home learning focus

Learn how to squash, bend, twist and stretch materials.

You will need: a sock for the lesson activity

This guide contains:

  • one video

  • one activity to reinforce learning.

In partnership with Twinkl


Some materials will change shape when a force is applied to them.

Watch this short film from Twinkl to learn more:

A video showing how materials can change shape by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

We can change the shapes of materials which are soft and flexible by:

  • squashing
  • bending
  • twisting
  • stretching.

Let's explore more in each detail - You will need your sock!

Squashing an object into a ball


We can squash materials by pushing them, which makes them thinner and flatter, or into a ball.

Hold your sock above the palm of your hand and squash it down into the palm of your hand to make a ball.


Bending a material changes the shape of it and needs a push force.

Hold each end of your sock and bring your hands together to make the sock bend.

Two hands bending an object.
Twisting a material


You can twist things when you push and pull objects at the same time.

Hold your sock in both hands and move your hands in opposite directions. The sock then becomes twisted.


When a material is pulled, it becomes longer and thinner. We call this stretching.

Hold each end of your sock in your hand and gently pull your hands apart.

Stretching an object


There are lots of ways you can practise your scientific knowledge.

Here's an activity to get you started.

Activity 1

Using the world around you, can you spot objects that can be or have been:

  • squashed
  • twisted
  • bent
  • stretched

Challenge: See if you can find five objects for each.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More lessons for Year 1 and P2
KS1 Science
KS1 Science
Primary games