Science Experiment for Kids: Does it Sink or Float?

Water-play Science Experiment: Does it Sink or Float?


I’ve decided to add science into our routine/curriculum. It’s so easy to incorporate and so fun to get the wheels turning in little brains. It also doubles as an excellent sensory activity, which for toddlers is so important in understanding how things work. Though we’ve done quite a few water activities before,  this was our first official experiment and it was such a hit!

A water-filled tub and some toys are all that you need. In this experiment your child/student will test whether various objects sink or float. Whether an item sinks or floats depends on two factors, density and buoyancy. At this age(2) you don’t really need to explain why this happens if you so choose. I explained density and buoyancy in age appropriate terms. See video here.

Sink or Float Kids Science Experiment KELLYSVIDA.COM

We started off by filling an empty container with water together. Truthfully I probably could have let her just play with that water and for a few minutes that would have been a hit, but we’re learning here (haha) so I grabbed a few of her toys that could get wet. *We also added kitchen utensils when she asked if we could “experiment more.”

Sink or Float Kids Science Experiment KELLYSVIDA.COM

We talked about the words sink and float(density and buoyancy). What does sink mean? What does float mean?

As my daughter began to put toys into the tub of water, I asked her questions about what she thought would happen. Do you think that this will sink or float when you put it in?

Sink or Float Kids Science Experiment KELLYSVIDA.COM

What do you think will happen with this ball? Why? What if you hold the toy down and then let it go? And so on…Watch video of our experiment here.

My daughter gave an answer each time, and I got one wrong.. How that happened I have no idea, but it was such a great kick off to science experiments for us!

Sink or Float Science Experiment KELLYSVIDA.COM

Bonus for the parents, there is little to no cleanup. Empty the container of water and you’re done! We did this over our single basin sink (yay for deciding on that during construction!) and clean up was a breeze. Watch video of our experiment here.

What’s your favorite way for your children to play and learn with water? If you try out our activity we’d love to see it. Tag us on Instagram or Twitter!

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