Float or sink?

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By Lynne Garnereducational and craft writer

See what happens when different objects are placed in water. The results may surprise you!


Floating toy boats


Activities in this article:

  1. Count the marbles
  2. Floating fruit
  3. A matter of shape
  4. Supported by salt

Encourage your children to think about the science of floating and sinking with these great fun experiments to try in your setting. They will help them to explore a variety of concepts related to water play and will allow you to introduce a range of different words.

Before you begin, discuss the concept of floating and sinking with the children: What makes some things float and other things sink? Why can a huge cargo ship float, but a tiny marble will sink? Once you have discussed these concepts, try one or more of the following activities and discover together the different factors that make something sink or float.


1. Count the marbles


Toy boats floating on water

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

Early learning goal: Use developing mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems.

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