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?
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
- 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.
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!
- 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
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