Floating and Sinking Science Activity

 Floating and sinking science activity
Floating and sinking is a fun science concept for children to explore.  Setting up a Floating and Sinking Learning Tray will invite them to play, experiment and explore how and why different objects float and sink when placed into water.
What you will need?
Learning Tray Floating and Sinking Sort
To set up this learning tray, you will need a large container filled with water, 2 containers to sort floating and sinking objects and a range of floating and sinking objects. 
The objects we included for this science activity was: a large rock, bottle top, wodden peg, pop stick, feather, coin, key, gem stone, button, shell and a leaf. 
You can download and print the labels here: Floating and Sinking Labels Printable
Let’s Play
Floating and sinking sort
Some ideas:
  • Place one item into the water at a time.  Does it float or sink?  Place the object into the corresponding labelled container.
  • Talk about why some objects sank and others didn’t.
  • Discuss the weight, size and material the object is made of and how this influences the floating ability.
  • Talk about why there were bubbles when some objects sank.
  • Read books about floating and sinking.
  • Bottles tops are great for floating when turned over both ways.  Can a bottle top hold a small stone and still float?
  • Search around the house for more objects to test if they can float and sink.
Let’s Learn
Why things float and some sink
After experimenting with the different objects floating and sinking, allow some time for your child to play freely with the water, containers and objects.  Add other toys such as cars and characters to the play opportunity.  Kids absolutely love to play with water!
Learning Opportunities
  • Language development: Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking: predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
For more Science Activities and Ideas <CLICK HERE>
Science Activities for toddlers, kids and preschoolers
Learning 4 kids

Water Beads and Ice Activities

Water Bead Activities
Water Beads and Ice is an open-ended and hands-on sensory play opportunity.  They are so much fun as they are about the size of a small marble and have a small bounce to them if they are dropped on the floor.  They are soft, squishy and smooth to touch, not slimy at all.
Water beads promote learning and development in areas such as fine motor, coordination, exploration, colours, sensory, and creativity.  Water beads also introduce children to scientific and mathematical concepts such as absorption.  It also promotes scientific thinking skills such as predicting, observations, reasoning and so much more! 
What you will need?
What are water beads
For this play opportunity I set up a small tub filled with ice cubes and water beads.  I was lucky enough to purchase our water beads cheaply at our local craft store but I have also seen them sold on E-bay and in florists.  When purchasing water beads they come in very tiny ball shapes and are hard.  Once you add them to water they become soft, squishy and increase in size.
I later added scoops (measuring cups) to the tub. I originally did not introduce the scoops until a little later as I wanted to my kids to explore first with their hands without any props.  When they were commenting that it was so cold and were starting to rub their hands together, that’s when I introduced the scoops.  This took the play journey to another level and also relief for their hands from the cold ice.
Let’s Play
let's play - water beads and ice
My children spent long periods of time using their hands to search for the beads in the water and ice.  They would gather them up with the ice and tried to melt the ice by rubbing it in their hands.  As the ice melted, there was more water to play with and different size and shape ice cubes.  They loved to collect them up and sort them into colours,  scoop them, pour them, feel them, and gather them in cups.
Let’s Learn
Let's learn- water beads and ice
Learning Opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Language development – shape names
  • Mathematics – capacity, measurement
  • Scientific concepts and skills
Find more activities & other ideas : CLICK ON THE IMAGES
Ideas for using ice for sensory play and science
Orange Water Beads 1
Ice Boats
Orange Water Beads
*Please note that even though water beads are non-toxic, they should not be consumed.  As with all activities, children must be supervised at all times. Read more*
Learning 4 kids

Absorption Activity – Rainbow Roses

Absorption Activities
Placing white roses into coloured water is a great science activity to demonstrate absorption.  Children will be amazed and excited to see the changes developing in the petals of the flowers.  It is a great learning opportunity to explore the concept of absorption, promote scientific thinking skills such as predicting, observations, reasoning and so much more!
What you will need? 
How to set up an abosrption activity
You will need white roses (you can use other flowers such as carnations or celery which works really well), food colouring, water and glass jars.  Our gorgeous neighbours have the most beautiful white roses and we have always admired them.  We were lucky enough to cut a few for our experience……thank you Erin and Brendan!
Let’s Play
Absorption Activities 2
We observed our roses over a few days and watched as the changes took place.  The longer the roses were in the coloured water the darker the rose petals became.  Miss 7, Miss 6 and Miss 3 had so much fun touching, looking, smelling and arranging the flower jars to create a bouquet of rainbow roses.   It is AMAZING to see the effects of the coloured water as it is absorbed through the petals of the roses, it leaves behind vein like markings of colour on the petals as the coloured water moves through the capillaries of the petals.  There are some close up photos of the coloured veins below.
 Let’s Learn
Absorption with Celery
Celery has always been well known to be a great object to demonstrate absorption.  We thought we might try something different and place 1 stick of celery cut almost all the way down the middle and place the separated ends into coloured water.  We discovered that the red and blue food colouring was best for creating the darkest petals in the white roses, so we chose these 2 colours for this experiment.
Interesting facts about absorption:
  • Absorbency is the capability of a material to take in water or any other liquid.
  • Florists often inject coloured dyes into the soil to create more richer colours in their flowers.
  • Roots absorb water from the soil and the water travels up the capillaries in the stems to all parts of the plants.
  • The capillaries in celery help it to quickly absorb water.
 Absorption with roses
 Learning Opportunities
  • Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking – predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation
Science Play
Learning 4 kids

Science Fun – Dancing Sultanas

Science Fun DAncing Sultanas
What will happen if we placed sultanas into a glass of soda water?  Watch and be amazed!!!
Dancing Sultanas is a super easy and fun science activity for kids!  It is so simple to set up and only requires basic materials.
What you will need?
Dancing Sultanas Science Experiment
You will need a glass of soda water (sparkling fizzy water), about five sultanas and food colouring is optional.
Let’s Play
Dancing Sultanas Science
We poured some soda water into a small glass bottle and dropped the sultanas into the fizzy liquid.  The colouring is optional.
Let’s Learn
Dancing Sultanas Science 2
The soda in the water creates the fizz and bubbles.  Soon the bubbles start to pick up the sultanas and carry them to the top of the glass.  As the bubbles pop at the top of the liquid, the sultanas go back to the bottom of the glass and the pattern repeats again.
Science Fun - Dancing Sultanas
We also placed some sultanas into a glass of plain tap water to see what would happen.  They just sank straight to the bottom of the glass.  My kids did noticed that there we some small bubbles on the sultanas but not enough to make them dance, float to the top of the glass.
Learning Opportunities
  • Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking – predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation.
  • Cause and Effect
Find more Science Activities…..
Science Play
How to make Hanging Crystals?
Ice Boats – Floating and Sinking
Learning 4 kids

How to Make Hanging Crystals?

Growing Hanging Crystals is a great science activity for kids to explore!
Easy science experiments for kids
During the school holidays we took our girls to see a cave.  It was an amazing experience for them and aroused so much curiosity and questions. 
I believe in embracing their interests and curiosity and exploring them further. 
The stalactites, stalagmites and crystals (calcium sculptures) inside the cave were amazing and the girls were completely in ore of this.  These stalactites and stalagmites are formed by water dripping or flowing from fractures on the roof of the cave.  To try and imitate  this we set up an experiment to grow salt crystals hanging from a string of wool.
What you will need?
You will need two jars, a string of wool, water, two paper clips, small plate and bi-carbonate soda.  We also set up a table to write our observations down each day for 1 week.
  1. Fill two jars with hot water.  Stir in about six teaspoons of bicarbonate soda, until no more will dissolve.  When a layer forms at the bottom of the jars, this means no more will dissolve.  This was fun to watch as the water fizzed and bubbles formed in the jar, a bit like opening a bottle of soft drink.
  2. Tie a paper clip to each end of the piece of wool and place each end in each jar.
  3. Leave the jars for a week.  Crystals will grow along the wool and hang down over the place.
 What is Happening?
The wool soaks up the mixture.  When the water evaporates, all that is left are the bicarbonate soda crystals (Salt).  The hanging crystals are formed when the mixture starts to drip from the wool and evaporate.  If you’re lucky, you might even get crystals that drip onto the plate and form columns…..like in caves.
Learning Experience from this activity:
  • Using descriptive words to express ideas and opinions.
  • Make connections with real life experiences.
  • Promote scientific thinking – predictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation.
Learning 4 kids
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