Monday, October 13, 2008

15 Minutes : Play It : Sink or Float

photo courtesy of

Talking about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria might inspire you to try some water activities.

My kids already love playing with water, so it's simple to add a little science to their fun. We do this activity in a bucket outside, in the bathroom sink, or in the tub. Of course, after they test the sink/float abilities of their toys, they spend even more time just splashing around.

I've also done a more in-depth sink/float experiment for 3rd and 4th graders. In addition to making predictions, we discussed the factors that cause items to sink or float, and we tested items in different amounts of water. Some ideas for older children can be found here.

The following simple instructions are from

Tub of water or small bucket
5-10 small items that will sink or float in the water (I would have 5 that float and 5 that sink)

Talk to the children about what floating and sinking means.
Hold up one item at a time and ask the students if they think that item will sink or swim.
Then after they predict, put it in the water and see what happens.
Talk to the children about their prediction and if they were right or not.
Leave the container of water and the objects in the room and let the children play with the items in the bucket.

1 comment:

Ecole Privee Montreal said...

I love this..In this activity, students will have the opportunity to experiment and explore with different types of objects, and to record in some form the results of their experimentation.