Sink or Float

Good afternoon scientists! My little scientist and I just finished playing in water to find out, “Will it sink or float?”. This was great outdoor play! Give it a try with your little scientist.


Various Toys, Produce or Kitchen Items (Ones you wouldn’t mind if they got wet)

Bag or Basket (To hold items collected)


Large Bucket or Bin or Water Table

Optional but Recommended: Swim Suit for your little scientist


**This investigation is best done outside on a warm, sunny day**

  1. Tell your little scientist that you are going to play a game: Sink or Float.  Gather various toys and other objects from around the house with your little scientist that they would like to test.
  2. Fill your large container with water about 2/3 of the way up. **Never leave your child unattended with water**
  3. Have your little scientist predict if the item will sink or float and test their prediction.
  4. Enjoy watching your little scientist have a fun, filled time.

Talking Points

In this experiment we tested to see if objects would float or sink in water. We were testing the buoyancy or the ability of an object to float in water. Objects are able to float or sink based on their density compared to the density of the liquid they are in. Density is how compact something is, the more compact the molecules (parts that make of the object)the denser the object. In order for an object to float in needs to be less dense than water. Something that is heavy like a medium pumpkin is able to float because even though it has a large weight there is also a lot of empty space or air in the center. On the other hand, a beaded necklace does not have a high weight but there are no empty spaces inside the necklace, all of the molecules are close together, this causes it to sink.

Sink or Float (41)

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