So just what is energy like?
Physics Narrative for 11-14
Energy as an orange fluid
Purists suggest that you should think of energy only in abstract mathematical terms, but for some this is not helpful. You can think of energy much as we have depicted it – an orange fluid which is contained in stores. We thing that not much harm will come from this in elementary studies, and it may help to make energy more intelligible. A feeling that you are talking about something real does help!
There are parallels that can be fruitful: orange fluid model → energy model can be moved around → shifted; can't just disappear → conserved; can be spread out to many locations → dissipated. You can model all of these in the laboratory with the orange fluid.