Here’s a fun summertime “experiment” you can try at home with any age. This activity will get your child observing, predicting, testing, and sharing their results. Happy science-ing!
Sink or Float?
Children will explore the concept of “buoyancy” (the tendency of an object to sink or float) by getting down and dirty with household objects and a large tub of water. You can even try this in a pool or a lake while the weather’s still warm!
- Large tub of water (anywhere from one to several gallons)
- Household objects i.e. pencil, banana, water bottle (try both full and empty!), pine cone, etc.
- Sheet of paper and pencil to take notes
- Fill the tub with enough water so that your objects will either float or sink fully to the bottom.
- If your children are younger and aren’t familiar with the concept of bouyancy, demonstrate putting a few objects in the water that sink and float.
- Make a “predictions chart” on your sheet of paper with two columns: one that says “sinks” and another that says “floats.”
- Make an identical chart for the actual data that you gather when you test your predictions.
- Talk together about which objects you predict will sink, which will float, and why. Then write them down on the predictions chart.
- Test your predictions in the tub! Record your results in the data chart.
- Write a summary of what you found out and share it with a family member or friend who didn’t get to see the experiment. Younger kids can share orally.
Interested in learning more? Here are some tips for exploring science and literacy from Reading Rockets.