Preschool Science Experiments: Sink or Float

Will it sink or will it float? Kids love hands on activities, and learn best when they get to experiment for themselves. Usually I get to do this in class with my students as they run to find new objects around the classroom that they want to put in the water. This week I get to do it on Zoom. This pandemic has changed everything about being a teacher. Much lies on the parents, which I am so grateful for the parents that I have the privilege of working with. They’re pretty incredible.

This week I am giving the parents/kids a few options on how to participate. 1. They can watch as I experiment with different objects. 2. They can sort the objects with a handout, which I’ll post at the bottom for all of you. 3. They can grab a container of water, and all the objects ahead of time and do the experiment with me. 4. They can do all of the above.

I would love for you to also try this experiment out with your kids, and watch their wheels turn. This little activity is fun because it involves sensory play as well as being able to predict, observe, and report.

Here are some ideas to go along with this activity:

  • Scavenger Hunt-Have your child hunt for the items before starting the experiment.
  • Predict-Print two copies of the chart. One to predict, and one to move the items to after finding out the answer. For some kids it may be easier to predict one at a time, meaning predict then immediately put the object in the water. For others, they may be able to predict what each item is going to do before starting the experiment.
  • Experiment-put each item into the water one at a time to see if they float or sink.
  • Report-Sort the pictures into the Sink or Float chart.
  • Count how many items floated and how many sunk.
  • Discuss whether more items floated or more sunk.
  • Search for more items that you think will float, and then test them out. Repeat for items that you think will sink. (This is another prediction activity).



*I have recently recreated this activity, and I personally think it looks way better! Feel free to get the free version, but if you’d like the updated version you can get it here for just $1.50

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