Sink or Float Experiments


For some reason, last night, we decided that we were going to do sink/float experiments today.  I had a gallon jug that we used and we used a clear 9x13 baking dish because sometimes the angle that you put things into the water affected whether it sunk or floated.  We figured that out with a plastic stick from our pick-up sticks game.  When we tried to put it in the jug, we had to put it in end first and it sunk.  When we could lay it in the water flat, it floated.  We used all kinds of things.  We used anything that the kids wanted to try.  We tried Legos, pennies, a flat cotton round, a My Little Pony, lids, containers, marbles, aluminum foil (both flat and crumpled--based on the Magic Schoolbus book), half a plastic easter egg and various other toys.

Before we started our experiments we read The Magic Schoolbus: Ups and Downs to learn why some things float and some things sink.


I was going to have The Builder write down which things floated and which things sunk, but that lasted about one time.  I figured it would give him a chance to practice writing, but it just wasn't the time for writing.

After it sunk
Before it sunk.  We were almost at 42 marbles
He did end up making tally marks when we were trying to see how many marbles it would take to sink a small container.  It took 42 marbles to sink the large container and only 7 to sink the smaller container.

I found a couple websites that have lesson plans, printables and such for float/sink experiments.  Next time I'll use these!  You just circle whether you think the item will float or sink(your guess) and then you try it twice and circle the outcome for each try.
Sink or Float Activity Sheet
Sink or Float Assessment Sheet--to draw the toys that sunk/floated
Great list of floating experiments from Kids Science Experiments

Which science experiments have you done that your children enjoy?  I'm thinking about doing a density one next.


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